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TARENTEL - Ghetto Beats on the Surface of Time

Format: do-CD
Label & Cat.Number: Temporary Residence Limited TRR102
Release Year: 2007
Note: CD-version of 12" series. Handnumbered edition
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €16.50

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CD-Version der grossartigen 12"-Reihe (4 Teile) !
"....Originally released as a limited edition series of vinyl albums, Ghetto Beats is collected here onto two CDs -- a full two and a half hours of music. It is a sun-baked cluster of ragged rhythms, splintered sound and scorched shimmer. The production is a caustic mix of hi- and lo-fi, creating a strange sense of timelessness, like discovering a black and white photograph of the future. Available in a numbered, limited edition quadruple gatefold jacket, Ghetto Beats On The Surface Of The Sun is a widescreen projection of unspeakable charm and unlikely beauty." [label info]

"We listed the individual vinyl installments of Tarentel's Ghetto Beats On The Surface Of The Sun a while back (all now out of print so don't order!), each one a mind blowing blast of druggy,
psychedelic free form rhythmic bliss out, and each one could well
have been an AQ record of the week. But good thing we held off, cuz
here we are a year or so later, and all four slabs of wax have been
digitized and compiled as a massive double cd set, and needless to
say, four -possible- records of the week, all piled on top of one
another, can only mean one thing! Well, yeah, obviously, this
absolutely had to be a record of the week. Quite possibly (and very
probably) the best music we've heard from these guys, which is saying
a lot considering how much we dig most everything Tarentel does...
When we first heard the title of Tarentel's 2cd (formerly FOUR
lp) set, Ghetto Beats On The Surface Of The Sun, we were pretty sure
they were being ironic, or facetious, or something, and there would
be no beats, ghetto or otherwise, to be found anywhere, just their
usual gorgeously slow shifting epic postrock soundscapes. But
actually, Ghetto Beats IS all about the beats, not sure if they're
'ghetto' or not, but they sure are dense and funky and weirdly
rhythmic, from blissed out shuffling skitter to super propulsive
krautrocky pound, these discs are definitely a whole new side of
Tarentel. A much more raw and ragged, caustic and groove based beast.
It almost sounds like Tarentel covering This Heat, or a krautrock No
Neck Blues Band, or maybe even Tussle via This Heat with a bit of 23
Skidoo thrown in for good measure.
While the framework of most of these songs is some dense web
of percussive clatter or some sort-of-funky drum jam, these
gorgeously hypnotic skeletal rhythms are surrounded on all sides by
thick swaths of crumbling ambience, disembodied guitar loops and
rumbling bass, thick swells of warm whir and all sorts of other
random dreamlike shimmer. Often building into seriously caustic
squalls, big churning white hot sonic swirls, each wrapped around
beats that seem on the edge of falling apart, or splintering into
rhythmic fragments. Maybe that's the ghetto angle, the beats are
super lo-fi, blown out, strangely recorded, so they sound sort of
alien, with lots of strange FX and stuttering stumbling variations.
So fucking awesome.
We originally reviewed Ghetto Beats one lp at a time, and
while they do work perfectly as one epic cohesive chunk of sound,
they still sort of play out like the separate movements they started
out as... The first movement (lp #1) is six tracks, a little over a half
an hour, a dense assemblage of abstract rhythms and brooding,
swirling psychedelia, heavy on the This Heat worship, beats stretched
out over huge expanses of industrial whir and jagged angular guitars,
very loping and hypnotic, brooding and drone-y, mysterious tribal
rituals stretched out into epic spaced out, abstract rhythmic jams.
Part two (lp #2) is 4 tracks, 40 minutes, two epic jams, both
16+ minutes, separated by two shorter tracks. The opener starts with
an endlessly hypnotic, near metal drum jam, over which guitars and
sound makers creak and keen, a crystalline web of high end sonics
over a swirling tribal rhythm. It could seemingly go on forever, and
it sort of does, but near the end it dissipates into a dark spacious
soundscape of distant clatter and thick rumbling buzz. After a one
minute rhythmic experiment, all freaked out psych rock effects and
super distorted drum sputter, the second lengthy jam kicks in, and
it's definitely the most mellow and blissed out track so far, some
muted free jazz skitter, over a slow burning expanse of chiming
guitars and smears of abstract melody all stretched into a near
static glacial groove. So nice. As if that weren't enough, the last 5
minutes is some of that fuzzy crumbling blurry ambience we can never
seem to get enough of. Soft focus and indistinct, shimmering guitars
wrapped in thick crumbling guitars and a glistening sonic glow, like
Tim Hecker, Fennesz, and that sort of thing, a gorgeous late night
coda of dreamy drone-y bliss.
For part three (originally the third lp), the group start out
by moving even further out into space (rock) on the ten minute
"Stellar Envelope", blown out crumbling sheets of distorted psych
guitar and dizzying FX wrapped around propulsive tribal beats,
feedback everywhere, it almost sounds like Hawkwind with all the
structure sucked out, leaving a huge swirling mass of psychedelic
tribal ambience, while managing to still rock somehow. The rest of
volume three area gorgeously obfuscated drift through a sonic
landscape at once rough and lo-fi and blissfully lush, strange
industrial clatter and clang is muted and smeared into mumbly
ambience, guitars are looped into hypnotic stretches of throbbing
drone, bits of dreamlike melody, simple spacious piano, are wreathed
in fuzz and warped into gorgeous slabs of pop ambient fuzz, the whole
thing is surprisingly tranquil and shimmery, especially after that
opening salvo, and the dense rhythmic intensity of the first two
movements, but within the context of Tarentel's seriously epic Ghetto
Beat symphony, it couldn't sound more perfect.
The final movement (the 4th and last lp in the series) offers
up Ghetto Beats' heaviest moment in the form of "Somebody Fucks With Everybody", a sidelong doom dirge blow out, referencing everyone from SUNNO))) to Growing to Nadja, a thick glacial swirl of downtuned
guitars, wreathed in effulgent streaks of damaged outerspace FX and
psychrock solar flares, all underpinned by Neurosis style tribal
rhythms, constantly sounding as if any second the song will kick into
the heaviest riff of all time, but instead, it stretches on and on,
building and building, some sort of cosmic lo-fi krautrock ambience,
massive and heavy, but strangely dreamy and blissful.
The rest of Ghetto Beats pretty much eschews the titular beats
entirely, instead offering up several brief ambient drifts, the far
away foresty folk hovering above slow moving slabs of glacial low end
of "Where Time Forgot", the ultra brief scrape and shuffle of
"Isalais Delay", the murky disembodied post rock of "You Do This.
I'll Do That", a strange landscape of fuzzy melodies and indistinct
song fragments, all woven into some sort of soft focus fever dream,
and finally, "Lake Light", a two minute outro, the glorious final
flurry of sound in this epic sonic travelogue spread out over 2cds, a
gorgeously hopeful, sparkling glistening drift of shimmery harmonics,
and misty minor key flutter...
Like we mentioned before, we've loved everything Tarentel has
done in the past, but this is by far our favorite, and how could it
not be after drifting dreamily through two plus glorious hours of
Ghetto Beats, immersing ourselves in a dreamy, druggy, murky world of drifting space drones and propulsive beats, of fuzzed out shimmer and barely there ambience... So amazing!
Packaged in a super striking, full color, eight panel fold out
sleeve, limited to 3000 copies, each with a numbered metallic sticker
affixed to the front." [Aquarius Records]