Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tay0-- Names and Numbers

"Names and Numbers", the most recent album available from Tay0, is a fulfilling and exciting aural experience that showcases brilliant bass and percussion-led tracks. These pieces at once generate vivid imagery and span a spectrum of styles.

First track "Jodrell Bank" opens with strong percussive elements and a faint buzz, relying on soft, rattling beats that morph into bass pulses and ominous drones. A quiet synth that feels at once hopeful and maligned interplays with the sharply glitched elements of the track.

Slower in tempo, second track "Wintermute" displays a mosquito-ey synth supported by a watery and diverse percussion. It fits, strangely enough, very well with following track "Behold tha Lamb", a piece that builds itself around a booming spiritual woman's voice preaching. By working her voice through the chaos of synths and an upbeat rhythm, there is a somehow symbiotic blend between the two seemingly unamalgamable styles.

"Backscatter" moves away from the characteristic upbeat rhythmic patterns of before, using eerie echoes, a hint of bass and a slight smatter of random blips to surround the listener with chilling sounds. Sound-rays like distant sirens creep up and down the spine amidst the frenetic blips, proving that it's somehow possible to emulate the sensations of going through a backscatter scanner with sound. 

Easing us back into a more comfortable, more high-spirited beat, fifth track "Names and Numbers" features smoothly expanding hums and gently tinkling little synths whispering above twisting mids that unwind and finally detune. Following up is the well-recorded "ModoKun (Live 01092010)". It opens with a deep booming rumble and unwinds into impressive, frenetically paced drums, which are well-bolstered by an airy synth.

Track seven "Bubblegum Beats" encompasses a number of vibes: first, it opens with a solemn synth and beat. Then cleverly played, enthusiastically cheerful video game beats hop over soda slurping and sunny plungs. Finally, the track darts into a synthesized beat breakdown, while vocals gleefully tell us: "Oh that's so sweet. It's so melodic. It's so tuneful, and accessible; this is Bubblegum Music!" 

The final track "Flyover Country" is more serious, sincere, and shows off once more Tay0's ability to paint complex visuals with his sounds. The track's elevated sonic movements glint and gleam, making for a well rounded track that feels like a view of earth and sky at a travelling pace. The fadeout comes as a gently ascending takeoff, leaving listeners satisfied.

All in all: Listen if you are desirous of strong rhythms and bass without sacrificing ambience, and if you're in the mood for a wonderfully varied album that makes excellent use of transitions. The album has a fantastic balance of lighthearted upbeat grooves and sobering moments, and is a mature, attentively created collection. 

Available on Tay0's site, free download. Find more on Soundcloud.

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