‘Tympanik Audio comes up with a Netherlands-based project. After their debut release signed to the hard working people of the Dutch Mindtrick Records, this Dutch duo presents us their second full-length album to the US-based No. 1 institution for demanding Ambient/IDM/Electronica music, Tympanik Audio. Label-mastermind Paul Nielsen has had again the right nose for talent, as ‘Transience’ easily approves. Both band-members, Robbert Kok and Ralph van Reijendam, present us their eclectic and eerie form of post-modern Ambient-Electronica music, which turns out lesser ‘powerful’ than mentioned in the accompanied label info-sheet. This duo concentrates to produce icy and filmic sounding Electronica-/Ambient-soundscapes which got supported by abrasive and at times noisy rhythmic elements which can be found in several related IDM- / Glitch-productions. That doesn’t mean that Tangent have to be reduced to be a copy-cat. It’s rather the opposite, but Tangent stands for another example that it is nearly impossible to search out the true pearls out of the mass of mediocrity when it comes to point on the rhythmically part of a production. A track like the opener ‘Drifting Frontiers’ lives essentially of its ongoing addition of those experimental sound collages until the scattering percussion set joins the scenario. ‘Sublimated’ is more accessible rhythmically, it even offers linearity, but it too points out, that Tangent’s music scores the most with their crystal-clear produced Electronica- / Synthesizer soundscapes. Also worth a mention is ‘Shattered’ with its plain starting lo-fi synth-drops and the ongoing abrasive percussion set until the Gridlock-like, ice-cold pads drive this track. To follow the lost piano drops produced under large hall reverb-effects in ‘Radiating Singularity’ is another thrilling experience worth to discover. With the track ‘Bloom’ there came up hopes that the whole sound-environment would change to a warmer, friendlier tone, but also this bloom rather acts like an ice-flower. So the whole album is not at all a new collection of more or less rhythmically Noise-tracks, which would work well in the clubs. It is rather a precisely and fascinating produced album of futuristic, icy soundscapes which need a bit free time to catch the whole content. It is definitely not the soundtrack for plain background entertainment, but throughout an enlightening album and an ideal addition to the Tympanik-roster.’
‘Avant-garde electronics made by passionate artists with a particular taste for great sound sculptures.’
‘…this production sounds like it was touched by the hand of God.’
‘Tangent is a duo from The Netherlands which took me by surprise on their complex experimental, industrial and IDM inspired album “1mk2” released during 2013 by the visionary Mindtrick Records. The duo now joined Tympanik Audio for their new opus “Transience”, which is inspired by our universe.
Tangent is a sonic project dealing with complexity, but the duo Ralph Van Reijendam – Robbert Kok first of all remains amazing sound architects. I’m not affirming that we finally have discovered who’s hiding behind ‘the great architect of the universe’ however I have to admit that this production sounds like it was touched by the hand of God. “Transience” is not exactly what I would call an album for the masses but rather a sophisticated electronic release Tangent defines as ‘ambient-beats’ that will appeal for a very restricted audience.
The sophisticated style remains a trademark of Tangent although they’ve lost a bit of their industrial inspiration revealed at “1mk2”. The new work is dominated by overwhelming electro-ambient spheres and rhythms. The rhythms are not at the forefront, but they create an essential fusion between electronics and cadence.
“Transience” clearly sounds as an invitation to join an imaginary sound abyss mixing bombast and refined, crystal-like sound treatments. The rhythmic sometimes makes me think to a heartbeat bouncing in the background. You feel like diving into an eternal space till reaching a status of apnea. You’re getting dizzy and yet everything remains clear. The ambient universe of “Transient” is absolutely phenomenal mixing dark and mysterious passages with tracks reflecting prosperity. The arrangements always remain rather experimental revealing a kind of glitch modernism. This is the kind of album that would totally fit to a documentary or exposition.
Conclusion: This is not just experimental electro-ambient music on beats, but an artistic sound creation made by passionate artists with a particular taste for great sound sculptures. “Transient” stands for avant-garde electronics!
Best songs: “Bloom”, “Shattered”, “Reversion”, “Reformed Construct”.
A very great review!
‘From a experimental electronic duo hailing from the Netherlands who describe themselves as creating ambient beats, Tangent has hit the books with some critical acclaim already. With their previous album 1mk2 being caught on by Mindtrick Records and released by them one in the same, audiences and critics alike fell in love with the sounds brought on by these two Dutch folk. And, with a certain level of love already proclaimed for their works, they decided to form another love baby and release Transience via Tympanik Audio.
And, really, as soon as I started to play the album to let the fantastic orchestral movements bless my ears, my immediate words were, “This is ambient done right.” And I don’t often go about saying that by far. Drifting Frontiers kicks out a forbidding, and atmospheric pleasure that sounds as if it’s going to just lurk in the standard dark ambient fair of these, with few and far in between effects and a simple ring to it. However, that changes as slightly glitched digital notes come into play, as if you’re exploring a vast and beaten wasteland that’s just crawling with all sorts of technological wonders. A rolling beat comes into play about half way into the song, still maintaining a bit of a glitch effect on top of lovely, well worked synths. And, from hear on out, the tune of the song just maintains a completely amazing and mesmerizing sequence that I just could not escape from. The end of the song features drum work from afar with a singular note, almost as if it’s a radar in a submerged submarine. Once more, this track was truly fantastic.
Sublimated begins off with a pretty steady beat backed by layered synths. Though I do think the synths were a bit overpowering in comparison to the soothing rhythm that played out, the clash of drums and such made for a bright composition. The second half of the song dropped the electronic flow, and heralded the ambience, allowing a few moments for static to raid your ears, alongside more very faint glitch effects. Towards the end of the song, a very slow, bass section appeared, coming in and out, and eventually transitioning right into the next song.
The bass/drum work still maintains it’s effect, as does the ambience in Shattered, but electronic notes play a bit of a feature as well amongst a static sound that serves as an overlay to every other sound available. At the middle of the song, the transition to more ambient structures streamed nicely as noise flooded the song, and eventually silenced into a high pitched singular note. And that’s the one part of the song that I didn’t appreciate too much; it wasn’t pleasurable to listen to, but more or less hurt my ears.
However, Expanding Horizons brought me right back up with a very beautiful introductory sequence in which lower pitched, slightly faded and drawn out keys struck underneath a very firm drum line that served as the main sequence. The ambient chords still struck highly in the background, providing a dream like structure to the song. Near the end of the song, more static filled in alongside the drawn out keys, and it became kind of creepy as the samples of what sounds like a school ground played along with the notes. This led to another transition right into Discovery.
And this track furthered the whole dream sequence even further; the children’s laughs and shouts did not cease, and wrought that theme out further. It was interesting to listen to, but the sounds of water flowing with the scattered glitch effects was the main attraction of this song; what sounds like an echoed xylophone rang in, as well, creating such a meditative piece. As a drone like note, low in texture, came in as the final chord, we were led right into Radiating Singularity.
This song sort of held onto a very sacred, natural touch; the sounds of a forest can be heard in the background, with very slight piano work sketching in and making an even bigger impact than it’s slight appearance might lead you to believe. As a electronic movement begins, the ambience gets louder, the piano work follows through, and the song just gets better. Near the end, the movement dies down, the sound gets lower, and this section of the album ceases.
Bloom blossoms in next, having a pretty standard synth intro focusing on atmosphere, and for much of the first two minutes, it served as a pretty heavenly sounding drone track. An electronic beat is built up, not heavy on bass, but more or less focusing on more glitch effects; what sounds like a stone grinding into glass creates a primitive sound among the technological sounds. Another drone note, another transition.
The use of primitive noises along with riveting electronic focus continues in Condensed Reality. And the title serves well, here; the futuristic sounds paired with falling back tendencies made me feel as if I was stuck in a bit of a vortex, somewhere between the ancient past and the present. The ending of the song was standard, with a bit of ambience ending us off with a bit of a windy feel to it.
Reformed Construct continues where the last left off, offering more glitch effects along with the ambient work. A bit of a tribal sound is formed with the drum work and what I felt to be a bit of traditional instrumentation like effects. Even if that isn’t the case, that’s the feel I got from the song, and I liked it. A fairly minimal section is placed at the end, and, with the higher pitched, but not ear busting synths leading the way, I couldn’t help but enjoy it.
I feel as if the light hearted synth work presented in Unchained were some of the best on the album, and even made me feel a little sleepy; if anything, consider this a wonderful lullaby to go through. When the ambient strikes in the second half of the song once more, you could say that the synth lines became less short, and longer in digestion to pair with the reflective essence of the work.
More static fills in as Retreating Awareness came in, like that of a TV invading a personal delusion. The noise mirrored back at you can only echo that of a daytime fantasy, though I will say an intrusive screech of sound really downplayed the whole relaxing effort. It came and went in the song, but, without it, the track was magical.
And, finally, Reversion ends off the album in a wonderful fashion. Almost going back to the roots of the first track, this one managed to once again really display why these two are allowed to describe themselves as making ambient beats.
And I’ve had every last ounce of music this album has poured onto my soul, and I come out of it both thankful and peaceful for having been a part of this material; the songs were wonderfully spun together, and crafted an elegant work of art that managed to touch and sway me between complete fascination and blissful relaxation. These two managed to wow other critics in the past, and you can now consider me on that list; they created something wonderful, and I do think more people need to hear this. Little flaws in the album are pretty much eradicated through all the good. Take a seat and listen to this will fully open ears; there’s not much you can do to stop enjoying this work.’
‘Netherlands-based electronic duo Ralph van Reijendam and Robbert Kok first launched their partnership as Tangent with last year’s debut album ’1Mk2′ on Mindtrick Records, and scarcely a year on this second album ‘Transience’ seeing them joining the Tympanik Audio label roster, a fitting home for their dark IDM meets ambient industrial sounds. There’s certainly a deeply cinematic feel to this collection, with all twelve tracks here flowing into one another as one continuous 66 minute long set. More than anything, there’s a sense of delicate and occasionally lighter textures being contrasted with noisier and harsher rhythmic elements, to create a sense of grace and beauty that’s often bittersweet. ‘Drifting Frontiers’ opens proceedings with a wash of frigid drones and distant rumbling noise that gradually resolves itself into an almost orchestral swell as clicking insect-like snares infiltrate the mix alongside juddering hiphop rhythms.
If there’s still a trace of a headnod groove to be found deep beneath the gauzy droning layers of textures, ‘Sublimated’ sees more light trickling in as slow synth trails arc and bend against a backdrop of slow, steel-plated drum beats and ominous swelling bass, before the entire track crawls off into a wash of interstellar-sounding drone-ambience that’s easily one of the more eerie moments to be found here. Elsewhere, ‘Discovery’ gets more icily optimistic, sending ripples of digitally treated sounds and fragments of plucked instrumentation murmuring against a lullabye-soft backdrop of delicate ambient synth tones, before ‘Bloom’ sees an almost dubby rolling groove rising up from icy walls of ambient drones, only for contorted signal-processed electronics to threaten to take over the entire mix from the very edges first. There’s a lot to take in here, and a lot of this is pretty heavy-going stuff, but fans of dark ambience given a post-industrial IDM twist along the lines of Totakeke should find plenty to enjoy here.’
‘There’s just no mistaking a release on Tympanik. More than anything, Paul Nielsen’s done a fantastic job of curating material which lends his label a je ne sais quoi that’s more than the sum of the elements in the material he sources. Yes, you’re going to get IDM and technoid full of languid pads that move at a glacial pace and beats which sound like they were assembled using a microscope and a lathe. But you’re also going to get something else, an undefinable attitude or perspective on those sounds that only comes with having listened to a fair number of Tympanik releases. That subtle distinguishing feature can be seen in the distinctions between Tangent’s extant record and new release Transience.
Less foreboding and abrasive than their 2013 debut, 1mk2, the Dutch duo of Ralph van Reijendam and Robbert Kok break from sharp dynamic shifts for a take on ambient technoid that zooms in on individual components, stretching and reexamining them rather than aiming for frisson via juxtaposition. Much of Transience focuses on percussion, but aims at blurring the line between it and the other elements of the record. It’s almost as if the individual glitches which have made up so much of this music over the past fifteen years or so were being manipulated again after their programming: pitched down or stretched out so that they serve less as percussive ruptures and more as stand ins for absent vocals, as on opener “Drifting Frontiers”.
Glitches are woven into a wheezing, cycling rhythm on “Expanded Horizons”, forming a dusty approximation of an alien iron lung booting itself up. Factor in the subtle granular sheen on the background pads and it becomes very difficult to distinguish where Tangent draw the line between rhythmic and harmonic elements. There are more traditional technoid arrangements which still hold their own, like the pinched bubbling and spacey moments at the end of “Sublimated” or the filter-happy “Bloom” which sounds like a rave-up in comparison to Transience‘s far more numerous chilled passages.
It takes a while, but all of these elements eventually circle around each other enough (I imagine space dust coalescing) to form one pure and shining supernova. “Reformed Construct” weds the record’s most insistent beat with pads which slowly fall into sync, creating a glorious minute or so of rapture (with some Reich-like vibes thrown in). It’s over too soon, and opts for a minimalist coda, but it’s a great high spot which feels well earned by virtue of earlier motifs slowly coming together. The distinction between 1km2 and Transience is one of inches, to be sure, but those inches count. Falling well within the purview of Tympanik’s territories, Transience represents a solid move for Tangent and should offer fans of technoid’s ambient side a pleasant mix of relaxed yet stimulating listening.
‘Tangent’s debut album on Tympanik Audio ‘Transience’ has a quality of sound that brings to mind a saloon in a cyberpunk crime novel, that it to say it’s sophisticated electronic noir. An auditory montage of beatwork that blends subtly harsh, mechanical regularity with fascinating time signatures, scattered glitches and nostalgic orchestral movements, Transience is full of latent kinetic energy.
You can’t look away for a moment, because you might miss a critical twist in the plot, and find yourself in a different story to the one in which you started. Tangent navigates through changes in regularity, volume and depth to create a texturally rich sound and blends harmony and dissonance to create a moving landscape.
In the corner of the saloon, a detective with a mechanical arm sits amid a cloud of cigarette smoke, musing to himself.
“What is that sound and where is it coming from? I think I can hear it streaming in through the open door, from outside. It sounds like children playing or birds circling around the shore. I feel it drawing me out of myself—that tug of a new discovery waiting to happen. Maybe there is something buried in the sand over there, where the waves are gently breaking around my ankles. But no, I haven’t left yet. It’s just me and these four walls. Soon.”
The detective collects himself and extinguishes his cigarette. The vision ends and a mesh or a mirage of static obscures the auditory field, but something beyond it still pulsates.’
‘For his first time at Tympanik Audio, Dutch duo have been noticed in our pages last year. It confirms all the good that we thought of its electronic landscapes expanding its post-industrial beats more or less felted with a science of transcendence.
More focused on the atmosphere in comparision to the excellent album ‘1mk2’, ‘Transience’ indeed leaves more breathe with ballets, dreamlike melodies, tablecloths radiant textures and shaky as the previous album, but sometimes it likes to confront the internal voltage rhythmic with resurgent white noise.Here are fewer collisions but it emphasizes the somatic dimension of the space beyond the dreams, the embodiment of a cosmos that looks like a living organism.’
‘If I made music, it might sound something like this….’
‘We wrote about Tangent’s debut 1mk2 (Mindtrick, 2013) described as “…a slice of cosmic detail, broken into ten distinctive fragments that melt together,” and now they’ve reemerged (unsurprisingly) via Tympanik Audio’s conduit for enraptured sonic chaos.
Transience doesn’t veer too far from its previously established orbit. Similar soundtracks for cosmic events such as supernova’s, gamma-ray bursts and flickering neutron star’s are all tucked away in a dozen emotive-electrical forms which move through atmospheric layers and broken-beat experiments.
Filled with hypnotic curiosity, lifeforms emerge from worlds yet undiscovered as mechanical elements blend into crimped low-end distortion and dissolved ambient textures collide. Both fragile and frantic, defused and deconstructed, Transience is more of a full-course audible experience through distant galaxy’s than it is a terrestrial jaunt. Best consumed as a whole and not in part, evaporated electronics meld into one cohesive fabric. But as the title of this album suggests, perhaps this massive sound structure is in fact just a brief expedition through (personal) subconscious space. If so, then it has accomplished just that. Either way, Tangent combines dense musical forces that compliment the circular cosmic spot we all inhabit.’
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‘After their first album ‘1mk2’ was released to critical acclaim in early 2013 on Mindtrick Records, the Dutch duo Tangent is ready to present their latest masterpiece ‘Transience’ with Tympanik Audio. Haunting tones echo throughout vast soundscapes of serendipitous melodies and sparse beat-work creating a virtual universe of sounds and moods. Matter is formed and collapsed at the same time, while a new universe is created from the ashes of a previous one. Static from lost transmissions projected through space eloquently expand and contract amidst floating particles of lullabies gently flowing through placid clamor. Carefully cultivated and positively engrossing, Tangent‘s new works seep into the subconscious and create macrocosms within the inner space. An album not to be missed by lovers of complex ambient works.’
‘Tangent’s second album is a softer, slightly more melodic and seemingly more emotional one than the already quite nice “1 mk2” released last year on Mindtrick. The downtempo beats are more in the background, the atmospheric grittiness is somewhat more subtle, and the focus seems to be on the melodies and the slow but intense progressions inside each track. A bit numbing at first, “Transience” reveals itself as a beautiful and mesmerizing album after a few more plays, confirming and extending the good impression that Tangent’s previous albums had left on me. Recommended.’