Released: March 2013
Genre: Downtempo | Trip Hop
Artist Country: USA
Catalog Number: NS066
License: CC BY-NC
I can’t recall when I first heard of Tardiss. I do remember thinking that it must be Doctor Who related, even with the deliberate mis-spelling of the name. I think I may have written off Tardisses work before now. I don’t know if it was because of the Doctor Who reference or if his work just didn’t grab my ear, maybe even both.
But that is certainly neither of those reasons applies now. In fact this release has gone from being what I thought initially as just being a good release to making it onto my list of favorite releases so far this year. Will it still be there at the end of the year? That’s difficult to say. It is somewhere after the Small Colin and Talk Less, Say More release at this point, but just how far is difficult to judge.
So what is it that I like about this release? It’s a very chilled, relaxing release. From the beginning of the sprawling 9 minute epic Willbury Road the mastery of this release is evident. This isn’t the work of some kid in a bedroom (not that that’s a bad thing), but the work of a mature musician that understands compositional structures, and makes good use of them. Tardiss manages to slide between drone, ambient minimalism and trip-hop / down-tempo chill with a skill that makes it seem easy, and that is the art of mastery: making difficult things seem easy.
And, there is the overall instrumentation, which seems to be a mixture of analog and digital instruments. If it isn’t a mix of the two, there are enough samples that sound like analog instruments as to fool my ears. Combine the instrumentation with a production and engineering skill that even major studios don’t always achieve, and this is a recording that is a joy to listen to, over and over. And I have, Thisistar has been on my music player for a couple of weeks now, and I routinely find myself listening to it at work, or at home. And I never feel like I am getting tired of it, it remains fresh for me on repeated listenings.
And, that’s the mark of a good recording: a recording that I will listen to repeatedly, not because I have to, but because I want to. And, even more so, these are the types of performances that make me wish I could see this artist perform live. I’m sure that it would be a show worth going to. But for now, I will have to settle for this fine release from Tardiss.