Blackest Ever Black have spent 2014 moving away from electronic sad-sack tropes and this 12” vinyl from Tarcar is somewhere between the two points. A groovy little DIY electronics ramble with some sultry vocals, it’s not upbeat -- Nico’s The Marble Index is a good reference point -- but it’s more of an isolated, lonely dub kind of bleak. For real connoisseurs of despair and desperation.
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Blackest Ever Black continue to salt the earth with warped experiments that stop anything else growing in their wake. Tarcar’s chaotic ‘Mince Glace’ is the latest perpetrator to grow out of the label’s bad seeds, a record of electronic, synthed out mush that veers from fucked up IDM soundscapes to brooding folk played with the Sun City Girls kiss of death, along with bright textures ironically used to evoke dissonance, darkness and despair. There are hints of jazz and dub; seconds of ghostly vocals; chilling samples; limping beats. ‘Mince Glace’ is about ten different records at once, pieced together to create one terrifying, misshapen hybrid that never quite sounds right. It’s not too beautiful for this world, but it is too much.
‘Mince Glace’ survives on its noisy, immensely busy backdrop of clamouring sounds and sustained noise, and through that unfortunate lens Tarcar find time to re-contextualise musical styles that might have different uses under different production values -- for instance, there are moments of totally groovy dub pop that recall Peaking Lights at their best, but chiming motifs and relentless ambient washes spoil the party, or else turn it into the kind of party Death Waltz would cook up. Fun isn’t fun for Tarcar unless they’re ruining it for the rest of us.
This kind of heavily juxtapositioned record is a blessing in disguise; its atmosphere is horrifying, but it’s as good as stand-up comedy, in a lot of ways, Tarcar refusing to take their music’s undercurrent of death and destruction seriously, happily inviting loopy synths and laser beam sounds along to sketch the whole thing out into a cartoon. Considering they’re on one of the most self-serious labels of all time, it’s nice to hear an act like Tarcar both playing with and escaping the conventions of ‘experimental’ music. Experiments sometimes end with uncontrollable fits of laughter.
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- Mince Glace by Tarcar
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