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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Tarentel
We Move Through Weather
Temporary Residence Limited

Rating: 5.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
What is music?

[Allow me to assume the posture of a stodgy college professor with white beard, tweed jacket w/ leather patches, and a general air of pretentiousness]

I give you Tarentel as an example. There's certainly noise coming out of the speakers; there are occasional bits of melody and droning. But is it music?

Tarentel straddles the line between minimalist experimentalism and actual music. It's art that doesn't fit those preconceived notions; it expands some boundaries. Though the 8 tracks with titles on this CD, few, if any, could really be considered songs, and some barely fit the definition of "pieces" or "movements". It's all nature sounds, spooky loops, atmosphere, guitars, drums and drones that play out just below a murmur.

Sound is coming out of your speakers, but for about half the time the hour long disc plays, you'll have to concentrate to actually remember that you left the stereo on. The music builds so slowly that it's the aural equivalent of watching ice thaw.

When Tarentel does make their presence known, the sound can be somewhat pleasing, if you have a patient disposition and an attention to detail. The "A Cloud No Bigger Than a Man's head" rises slowly to an audible level but even with a long crescendo, it only swells to give the listener some audible squeals like brakes on rails and a bit of feedback. It's not quite the epic burst and bloom payoff of a band like Explosions in the Sky, but it's about as close as you're going to get with this instrumental outfit.

Tarentel's album is like a dreamless sleep. It's a soundtrack to nothingness. If it were to accompany any other activity besides inertia, the subtlety of its sound would be lost amid even the most undemanding activity. In that way, it's an intricate album that requires any listener's full attention.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams

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