Posted on June 18th, 2012 (9:32 am) by Esmail Hamidi

Denmark’s Nick Eriksen started out as a drummer in bands, but ended up producing electronic music instead after becoming frustrated with music theory. His percussionist beginnings show prominently in his work, using primitive melodies and harmonies combined with a complex rhythmic sense. The project got off the ground with a strong start, garnering warm reviews from their March 2011 self-titled EP. Tipped Bowls does not stray far from the warmth or softness of its predecessor; its sound tends to fall in the chillwave/shoegaze vein, forgoing traditional danceability for superior ambiance.

Things start off slow with the percussionless “Four Legged” and “Growing Forehead.” It’s a puzzling sequence, and I was initially bored by the two tracks, but it definitely provides something for the album to build upon. Textures shift slowly and subtly as to alleviate boredom. “Lo Ng” builds a complex series of soundscapes around a butt-shaking drum loop and subtle vinyl crackles. “Ballibat” is simply majestic – synths playing complex polyrhythms swallow the listener in a soundscape both nonsensical and somehow meaningful. It crescendos massively and fades gradually down into nothingness. “Pinned (Part 2)” starts out with an enigmatic drum loop that provokes head-nodding despite its sheer oddity. Bubbling synth textures amongst trilling leads grow in volume until the drums drop out and come back again to take it home. Things are rounded out by the paradoxical “Terror Paradise,” featuring weird siren-like oscillations floating over your speakers. Overall, sounds are thick, textures are rich, and vibes are mellow.

Over the course of ten songs, a sonic narrative arrises, with Eriksen's constructions not necessarily song-based but largely album-intensive. After all, he is a natural percussionist who omits percussion in the opening tracks. Many tracks lack immediacy, thus track-by-track, Tipped Bowls isn't the strongest work in that regard, not by a long shot. But when you consider the whole piece, well, things look more positively for Taragana Pyjarama.

Be warned that set and setting are a big part of liking this record. Enjoying this album is a complex dance of attention and taste; parts of it require focus and motivation to fully appreciate, and other chunks must not be scrutinized, for they are fairly dense and sometimes boring. Either way, this record has great potential as a grower. Tipped Bowls is released today on Kompakt Records, and it's worth you checking out at the very least.

Track List:
1. Four Legged
2. Growing Forehead
3. Lo Ng
4. All Those Weird Things
5. Just Remember This
6. Pinned (Part 1)
7. Tipped Bowls
8. Ballibat
9. Pinned (Part 2)
10. Terror Paradise

Taragana Pyjarama
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

68 / 100
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