Release Date: 02 March 2014
License: CC BY-ND
Label: Tunguska Electronic Music Society
Fits to a T
So, this is my third review of a release from Tunguska Electronic Music Society release. I attribute my desire to reviewing Tunguska releases to the incredible depth, range and diversity of their artists. Let’s take this latest release as another example because it fits to a T.
The T Space
The title of this release is just the letter T. But it’s what that T stands for that makes this an intriguing release: Tesla. You can see there in the cover, just above the large T, and the title of the first track is ‘Tesla’s Memory’ in honor of the brilliant inventor.
It’s an interesting time we live in. It seems that many people on the internet have all but deified Nicola Tesla, while simultaneously vilifying Thomas Edison. And there are substantial and good reasons for looking upon much of the interaction between the two in a negative light. And, there are plenty of other reasons to vilify Edison. However, the whole history is much more complicated than a few simple memes, articles or a handful of stories can capture.
So, instead of trying to produce a set of pieces that have literal correlation to Tesla’s history of ideas, the artists on this release have chosen to work in an impressionistic manner, or a literal manner. And what they have produced are a set of pieces that are appropriate to Tesla’s spirit.
This collection features pieces that both are forward-looking, futuristic, and space oriented. However, not all of them are bright and optimistic. There are some pieces that juxtapose darkness with the future, or present fractured fragmented melodies or interjections into the work.
In other words, many of these artists are painting pictures that are at once a celebration of the inventor and futurist that Tesla was, while still putting the complexities of the man into the song. I get the feeling that these are songs that come from artists that have intimate knowledge of the Tesla. They’ve found common ground to relate to him, not just on some glossy-eyed, meme-ified version of the man. But the real man.
And in representing these aspects of the man, his inventions and forward-thinking we get a range of music. From Pianochocolate’s sublimely melodic ‘Supernova’ to more fractured melody and rhythmic drive of Desperate Mars ‘One Gramm Of Sea’. We also wander a range of styles, from Berlin School synthesizer music, to modern IDM.
And I think this is what makes this release feel more true-to-life than many tribute style recordings. By wandering through a range of styles with artists putting different perspectives on Tesla, you can understand how he can be perceived differently by so many people. And that is true to how each of us are seen: no two or three people are going to see all the same things about us. I know that people who know me at work see one side of me, while those of you reading this article see this side of my personality, whereas people I talk with in chat rooms and on social media sites see a different aspect of my personality.
And that is the most fitting, and most difficult, thing that could be captured in a release like this: a range of thoughts, perceptions, and impressions of the person. Of course, this is just my take on the subjects in this release. 🙂
I’m reviewing a number of Tunguska EMS releases lately. The primary reason is because they have many releases that fits to a T. And this release is another which appears to have brought forth a complicated image of a person. It’s a masterful release that doesn’t short-change it’s subject in any way. Highly recommended listening.