Tiger Village
Trilogy [3xCS; Self-released]

Deep desires, fears, hopes, dreams, hallucinations, frustrations, fantasies, loves — whatever intense emotion or randomized thought process you could think of for a single human being — filtered through a set of bleeping/pulsating/plasmatic synthesizers, skittering beat machines, samplers and effects processors, all piled onto the reels of three cassette tapes. The resulting package, so generously donated to my mailbox by Clevelander and former Les Cousins Dangereaux Tim Thornton, has proven itself one of the best collections of purely electronic music to hit my tape deck ever. <—— That’s a period right there. There’s a laundry list of touchstones I could mention here as to the styles seen, motifs heard and flavors tasted, among them Autechre, Aphex Twin, Oval, Mouse on Mars, Jim O’Rourke, Matmos… basically my list of go-tos, the best of the very best, so this sentence should be read as extremely high praise. Of course such a sentence risks making it seem as though Tiger Village isn’t able to be its own thing, which clearly it is; the product of all the great work in that canon caploding into a pixelated spray of color, synthesizing a broad range and history of abstract electronic music into a convenient package that is as overwhelming to the neurons as it is a thing of sensory-stimulating simplicity to swallow in a couple of (rather large) aural gulps. Between twittering improvisations that feel like beautiful holodeck simulations gone wonderfully, sometimes frighteningly haywire, and elsewhere more premeditated looping with some skull-thumping beats, you’ll find linear melodies wandering their way through hyperspace, lightsabers swishing past your temples to give your eyebrows a tight trim, laser blaster battles, robotic dance raves and soothing bedtime ambience akin to circuit-bent sunsets over Mainframe City. Especially impressive is how all of these disparate things flow together, transitions you’ll barely notice making the entirety of the trilogy an endless segue of melodies melting into smears of synth that lay the groundwork for whatever whirling beat might follow, only to double back on itself backwards through progression I just related.

Ok, I’m just about done here, but I didn’t really get a chance to describe the nice black and white visual aesthetic of the tapes, or even say what I really wanted, which is something more like this: What the fuck, dudes. Amazing.


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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