Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Thuoom - Resonant
Textural Healing. THCD01
Having hastily ripped some of the most recent review material to the iPod for perusal during Greek week, I found myself in such a relaxed state of mind that the likes of Lasse-Marc Riek, Daniel Blinkhorn, Jase Williams, Yol, some nutters from the North East going by the name of Lobster Priest and Thuoom all sort of melded into one great big post prandial blob of unidentified sounds. Little did I know, but during my slumbers Thuoom was turning into one of the most serendipitous moments of the year.
Somewhere during one of those long hot afternoons the three tracks that make up Resonant must have passed through the back of my slightly sweated brow. Three short tracks, for this is a CD-EP take note, that would have passed through the grey matter leaving but a smattering of trace. A signal of some kind perhaps, a marker for the future brought to life when I heard Thruoom once more. Those 15 minutes of music must have passed through my shell likes leaving no more trace than that of a whiff of three star Metaxa coming in from off the balcony.
It is only now, whilst safely ensconced within 17’s towers that I realise what a treat I missed. Having just witnessed one of the best gigs of my life at the Wharf Chambers I now find myself listening to an act that could have quite easily sat in amongst the delights as offered by Sheepscar Light Industrial.
Thuoom is a Finn going by the name of Tuomo who after a short dalliance with ‘metal/alternative rock’ realised that his destiny laid within the more esoteric plains of experimental electroacoustic music land. Tuomo regards his music as ‘cut up poetry made of sounds … post psychedelic electronica’, ‘forestelektro’ he calls it. Having soaked up lots of Matmos he [he?] creates [mainly] short tracks with musical and non musical instruments. These are then processed, sometimes to the point of non recognition.
The three tracks on Resonant were created using an alarm clock, a bird cage and wine glasses. If ‘Yarn’ was the one recorded with an alarm clock I’m impressed, especially as its four minutes resemble a more spaced out mid 70’s Kraut noodler nodder. Think grooved out Tangerine Dream, Michael Bundt or a trippy Popol Vuh. ‘Caged’ is seven minutes fifty of brooding glacial blasts, presumably made from the bird cage, over which a glitchy rhythm comes and goes before turning into something almost quite gamelan in construct. ‘Glasses’ as you may imagine was made with the wine glasses. But not as with These Feathers Have Plumes rubbed and looped but gently struck in a manner that I know is called tintinnabulation, i/e the sound that a bell makes after it has been struck. The results are quite stunning. Using numerous glasses filled to various levels [I’m guessing] Tuomo manages to compose a multi ringing piece of music that has within its heart a dynamic shift that not only lifts this from the cute and touristy [think cheesy busker type crud] but to the levels as enjoyed by … well Matmos. I’m guessing [again] that the struck wine glasses are further processed and layered until you have a multitudinous ringing within which small beats and bleeps escape until the whole thing returns to its ringing beginning.
And this is only the beginning. Resonant is the first Thuoom release to be found in a tangible format. The Textural Healing website has links to Thuoom’s other twelve albums all of which are freely available for download. Yes, twelve. There are another twelve albums already available, all of them recorded within the last five years.
So I listen to ‘Aava’ [which is credited to ‘Thuuoom’ and ‘[Cycles of Sleep]’ which begins with a musical box having its whimsical tune processed into something that Morricone never imagined. Here we find a 4-string acoustic guitar, algorithms, balalaika, bottles, human voice, midi, music box, recorder, whistle. On ‘Aava’ ... algorithms, copper paper, electric guitar, Excel, human voice, midi, music box. Right now I’m listening to the track ’43cave’ and it sounds like a fluttering Penguin Cafe Orchestra uke strum over which Thuoom hums a guttural throat warmed moan into the mic.
I’m looking forward to the vocal only album, the one he did with a digital camera, the gig and the one where he processed some tracks from his previous incarnations metal band into some noise/drone muck.
I feel as if I’ve discovered a rich seam, a mother-lode perhaps and I may be here some time.
[Comes in a minimalist hand made folded card sleeve which only adds to the aesthetic]