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Tapage – Fallen Clouds

[CD, Tympanik Audio]

“Fallen Clouds” is Tijs Ham’s latest release as Tapage for Tympanik Audio.  This, his second album for the label, follows last year’s “The Institute of Random Events” and is limited to 333 copies.  Having previously released a couple of hardcore EPs, Ham’s releases for Tympanik Audio have seen him refocus on his IDM roots without completely dispensing with his love of breakcore. Combining sparkling futuristic melodies and soaring galactic tones with hi-tech blips, bloops and whirs, Ham often can’t resist adding a huge pounding break or thudding beat to the mix for that extra hard hitting element.  Throwing in the odd sample snippet, some scratching or some R2D2 style bleeps, Ham manages to inject a subtle element of humour here and there too.  On the whole his music is very much in the IDM/glitch/experimental vein embellished with restrained nods back to his previous life as a breakcore artist.  Sometimes offering prolonged atmospheric ambient intros – “Drain the Clouds” and “Notbremse” – “Fallen Clouds” mixes ambience, breaks and experimentation with the gentler, drifting backdrop a seemingly ever-present but sometimes discrete element of the three. Elsewhere Ham goes mad with hard crashing beats (“Drain the Clouds” or “Canceling Unlisten Time”), explores IDM themes (“Clap Retrial” or the soaring orchestral glitch beat melodies of “M17w”), precise beat work (“Oppose”, “Lew Volt” or “The Silent Hours”) or pushes the experimental elements of his music (“Oval Shaped Square” or “Laboratory Panic Advise”).  Several different styles are represented here and often mixed within the space of a single track.  Although it generally works very well, at times it seems Ham is not quite sure which style to adopt or direction he wants to go in – perhaps representative of a shift in thinking and a transitional album on the way to something better still the next time? (PL:7)PL



Published by Side-line [July 19th 2009]

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