CD, Tympanik Audio, 2009
Tympanik Audio is the relatively new kid making its mark in record label circles, and unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past couple years, you can’t have failed to notice it having released a number of fantastic albums, ranging from artists such as Flint Glass, ESA, Totakeke and Stendeck, through to Endif, Subheim and Tapage, amongst many others. It has certainly earned itself a reputation as a record label of some note since its inception. “Emerging Organisms Vol. 2” basically showcases the talent of this particular label, with a few additions from its friends.
Disc one is a slightly understated introduction, and focuses on Tympanik’s more relaxed fare; Subheim’s “Take Me Back” being especially gorgeous with whispered vocals, opera samples, and a brooding beat that gels it all together, while Zentriert Ins Antlitz provides a crunchy, yet vaguely minimalist remix of “Where Their Dreams Live” from their album “…No” (2008), remixed by label mates Access To Arasaka. One of Tympanik’s newer additions, Aphorism, provides an upbeat slice of electronica in the form of “Expanse”. Alongside Tympanik artists there are also offerings from Architect, Marching Dynamics and Hecq (of which “The Glow” is just stunning; he uses beautifully layered synth sounds to create a spookily atmospheric sound).
Disc two takes things up a notch and introduces some more upbeat and slightly noisy tracks to the mix, starting with “Lodestar” by Stephen James Knight (alias Edgey), a track which is probably best described as electronica with a slight drum’n’bass sound to it. The most surprising track (to my ears at least) comes from the really quite wonderful Rope. “This Flightless Bird” just sounds massive, and certainly bears comparison to the likes of Orbital. Flightless is certainly not a word I would use to describe the track, as the synth just soars. Other additions include Sincere Trade’s “Danger, Stop, Stay”, which has a very simple melody that travels through the noisy beats to great effect, and a track from one of my personal favourites, Ginormous; “Redcliff” sounds terribly surreal with huge swathes of odd sounding instruments over a crunchy beat.
This release as a whole is an absolute joy, and it certainly shows Tympanik as one of the major labels to look towards for consistently interesting and varied releases. It’s also good for those of you who may have become a little jaded with electronic music in general; if this is the standard we can be expecting now and in the future, then you have no reason to worry.
— Kate Turgoose