Time Wharp Time Wharp

[Astro Nautico; 2015]

Rating: 2.5/5

Styles: clubby warmth
Others: Four Tet, Floating Points

Halfway through my dinner of liver, fava beans, and a nice Chianti, I remembered the winter of 2012, when I used to ride the G train to my internship, listening to Time Wharp’s BLK EP, then get out of the train and walk 10 blocks in the snow with the volume all the way up on my iPod, my name invisibly scratched on everything. I would walk by the Gowanus Canal and hear in my head the voice of that fat, Italian mobster telling the other mobster to not forget the cannolis. What this means to all of us, passing through the earth, matters.

I first heard Time Wharp when I went to a Teebs show in Manhattan; he was one of the openers. Was it then when the beat scene was already dying? It might as well die forever, just like vaporwave. (Because dying forever means living forever.) His debut skirts around, beautifully perambulate, snaking along steep rivers of ambience and heavy shelves of snowy rhythms before arriving at the ever-diminishing substance of the sea’s floor, full of anglerfish and weird squid. Meaning: it’s a beautiful self-titled album, thick with salt, and each song turns in on us, focuses on us, and is us, finally, full of mistaken beginnings, sax notes, bald butlers, pink piglets, and crackling lamplights.

It’s a bit clubby, a bit industrial, and a bit computerized. It’s also organic, like a fresh tomato at Whole Foods or a glass of Organic Valley 1% milk. It’s hard to put a place on it: Atlanta sounds much more like Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan than this, even though that’s where Time Wharp is coming from. The pads on “Market Solution” could heal the sore muscles of a professional athlete; the saxophone on “Cole Dub” sounds like Midtown Manhattan nightlife. “Rag” has a vocal grunt on it, reminiscent of jungle or 2-step, and the ending on “Tophat” is very much like the album cover: of the earth because of the surface, but of the sky because of the rainbow, made from a mixture of rain, sunshine, and heat.

But like most debuts, it can only point to, not embody, what’s to come, and it is weak on giving us any extramusical philosophies. The happy, dancey, lounge-y vibes create a form of peace, much like any Four Tet record, but I don’t want peace, because there are massive amounts of methane in the air coming from industrialized farms, and the police are corrupt, and Obama can’t do shit about nothing. I’m hoping that Time Wharp will think more about creating dissonance and using materiality as an inspiration — rather nature, or drugs, or the club — on future releases. The actual timbres of the sounds, when questioned, make us realize how strange it is in the first place to listen to music. That tomato at Whole Foods is not just a tomato. It’s an entire weird ecosystem unto itself, just like a record.

Links: Time Wharp - Astro Nautico

Most Read