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    Adrift Bureau B

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Review Text Almost 20 years into a fruitful recording history, German duo Tarwater returned with Adrift, a collection of complexly layered electronic pop delivered with the slinking and sometimes obtuse approach the band had been refining for years. Often thrown under the post-rock banner due to both their deconstuctionist take on traditional song structures and Ronald Lippok's membership in successful post-rock instrumentalists To Rococo Rot, the hyperactive electronics and subdued, rolling chords and textures that make up Adrift sound more like a moody rock album from an alternate future. Even with straightforward sounds coming from upright bass, softly plucked nylon-string guitars, and smooth, jazzy drum tones, album opener "The Tape" has enough headphones-only electronic magic moving throughout the stereo field to make it sound alien. Standout track "Stone in Exile" sounds at times like an Aphex Twin remix of New York-era Lou Reed, with jittery synth bubbles and warped vocal samples supporting deadpan vocals. So many years into their craft, Tarwater have decided to forgo the cover songs that regularly appear on their albums and instead offer several tracks where they adapt lyrics from various texts of poetry, or these texts are simply read over glitchy backdrops. The first and most moving of these tracks comes in the form of "Homology Myself," in which a reading from Viennese poet Ann Cotten is superimposed over a bedding of shifting electronics and hypnotic samples. By the time the tense album closer "Rice and Fish" arrives, Tarwater have deftly transformed what could have been a claustrophobic mire of sounds into a deceptively simple-sounding pastiche of sounds dark and unexpected. ~ Fred Thomas

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Tape - 3:21
  2. 2. Adrift - 2:40
  3. 3. Glove - 4:10
  4. 4. Devon Saturday - 1:28
  5. 5. Stone in Exile - 3:09
  6. 6. Homology Myself - 3:37
  7. 7. They Told Me in the Alley - 3:25
  8. 8. Inreturn - 2:03
  9. 9. Coconut Signal - 4:47
  10. 10. Log of the Sloop - 4:34
  11. 11. Evening Pilgrims - 3:18
  12. 12. Ray - 4:11
  13. 13. Rice and Fish - 3:08

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