Taquin Magnet by Australian Tarquin Manek is a timeless mix of folk-jazz ideas, delicate chamber dub and synthetic post-techno electronics. Although this is Manek’s first solo release on Blackest Ever Black, he has previously contributed as one half of Tarcar with Cara Del Forno and as one third of Fingers again with Del Forno and Samuel Karmel. Manek has also released music under his LST moniker for the Another Dark Age label. Tarquin Magnet is built on a base of improvisation and field recordings then mixing a whole host of sounds in a big pot and expertly and painstakingly editing and arranging the sounds into a cohesive work.
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Imagine walking into the dining room for a meal of significance. Christmas dinner probably, given the time of year, but here at NR we don’t assume everyone celebrates the big Chris. Bear with me. Instead of delicious home-cooked food laid out on the table, on the dishes instead lie mounds of angular objects - are these food? What the hell? I’m hungry.
That’s what Tarquin Magnet sounds like. Sort of like that scene in 2001 where Dave withers away in an 18th century bedroom, eating fine food and talking to a black oblong. It’s an electroacoustic feast that you weren’t expecting to eat but you do anyway and it turns out to be pretty nutritious. A cyclic synth melody carries aboard the howls and cries of the beasts in the night, with assorted wind and string instruments making little statements, treated by deft production techniques and skittering between the ears. Always these little statements, very rarely a full paragraph or sentence. Many tiny atonal screeches and bangs grace side A, as if always in a perpetual dreamlike state where sounds rise from the void spontaneously. A couple of minor textural pieces finish off the side, the latter of which is like a wind chime recording lifted from a turn-of-the-century wax cylinder. Over on the B and we get into pure, grinding sound that shows you windows into many possible worlds before sucking you back out into the grey nothing. This one’s a challenging listen, sort of halfway between Lumisokea and Leafcutter John.
The final track is most like the latter, jamming with an extremely stoned and sleepy Omar Rodriguez Lopez, some sparse guitar picks playing off various synthesised languid melody. Nice.
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