tala drum corps' 9 albums for mud bathing
We met the Utrecht-based DJ and producer Tijmen Lohmeijer, who goes by the moniker Tala Drum Corps, sometime ago. Not long after discovering his love for The Legend of Zelda, we were happy to stumble on his web of precisely woven productions and mixes. Intrigued by his fascination for uncommon soundscapes, we invited Tijmen to dream up one of his own.
His resulting collection, 9 albums inspired by mud bathing, exemplifies his penchant for putting sounds under the microscope and distilling their most intriguing shapes and forms.
Tijmen shares: “Let me start off by saying that I never had a mud bath, aside from slipping while hiking. While I was compiling this list, I was wondering about what sound characteristics I really like, spanning over different genres. I like music that is both uncanny and relaxed, ritualistic, weird but recognizable, music that puts you in a new world, or makes you feel like an alien observer in a familiar environment. Warped natural sounds, entrancing rhythms, and dubbed-out echoes are all contributing to this feeling of unease-meets-relaxation, exactly what I imagine taking a mud bath would be like.”
Solaroid - First Wave
This album blew my mind. Krister Linder beautifully blends elements of dub, IDM, and ambient into a trippy experience. His own vocals fit perfectly and give the overall album a very distinct identity. My pick from the album is the opener, “Travelinside.”
Georgia - One Mind
The duo consisting of Brian Close and Justin Tripp has been creating super weird stuff under the Georgia moniker since 2012. Polyrhythmic workouts, warped vocals, and other madness makes every listen a surprise. The track I chose, “Window 5,” also reminds me of Koji Kondo’s Nintendo 64 soundtrack for Legend of Zelda. An uncanny world layered with atmospheric sound design.
Cyrnai - To Subtle-Drive
Originally self-released on cassette back in 1988, the DIY spirit of this album is hard to miss. Los Angeles-born painter, writer, and electronic musician Carolyn Fok has made very dark, yet uplifting, experimental music that is certainly worth checking.
Peter Talisman - Lord of the Harvest
I’m really bad at keeping up with new releases and actually prefer digging in the past. As I host a radio show called “Rites of Harvest” at Stranded FM, the title of this album caught my attention, and I was not disappointed. Lately I’ve been getting into folk a bit more, and this album gives folk a whole different spin. Sam Organ and Slugabed, who are behind the Peter Talisman alias, created an entire story around the album, which can be experienced through a charming game on their website.
Graeme Revell - The Insect Musicians
Mud pools and swamps attract all kinds of insects, and this is their soundtrack. Graeme, better known from industrial group SPK, sampled various insects and let them tell their own story. The almost clumsy and cheap sounding game-like synths and melodies accompanied with the bug-filled field recordings work really well together. Highly recommended!
Tarzana - Alien Wildlife Estate
Tarzana is a collaboration between Spencer Clark and Jan Anderzén. Both have a knack for the strange, and on Alien Wildlife Estate, 1 + 1 equals 3. The muddy and goopy vocal chops combined with collage-like soundscapes sound like you’ve accidentally stumbled onto an alien ritual meeting at your local sauna which happened to be run by lizard people.
Excursions in Ambience - The Fourth Frontier
The Excursions In Ambience series on Astralwerks is definitely essential for people who like 90’s ambient and downtempo stuff. The fourth instalment is as strong as the previous, and might even be the darkest and most experimental of them all. Although the tracks “Swamp” by Node and “Drifting In Wire” by Single Cell Orchestra are perfectly fit for this list, I choose Lunasol’s “D.I.A.P.O.W.,” a steady favorite for years now. What a song! The build-up and the dubby, bouncy rhythm it turns into never gets old.
Voices Of Kwahn - Silver Bowl Transmission
Voices of Kwahn are Pylon King and vocalist Anna Homler. With their first album being quite house and club-oriented, Silver Bowl Transmission is a lot more abstract. Moody trip-hop-not-trip-hop which complements Homler’s vocals very well. Ritualistic tracks that develop over time, making them shift from one mood to another.
XqST - ∀∃
XqST, also known as Exquisite Corpse, consists of Debbie Jones and Robbert Heijnen. They were always great at creating percussion-filled tracks with a very distinct sound. ∀∃ features experimental and meditative improvisations Debbie and Robbert recorded at their home in Vancouver in the early 2000’s. My head can’t always keep up with the rhythms, but that is absolutely in favor of the whole experience.