January 23, 2011
Recent Listening: Seams – Tourist EP
Tourist EP, released in November of last year, is a superb four track collection from producer Seam, an artist I’ve (criminally) only just discovered. Building on the atmospheric nature of the Nightcycles EP from earlier in April, Tourist opens with the ancient metropolis soundscape of Hung Markets, a cyclical exercise in wonderfully soporific repetition that features a sampled hang drum – a type of inverted steel pan. “I recorded this EP over the summer whilst working in Berlin,” explains the producer on his bandcamp page, “It was inspired by the outdoor living of the city in the summer, and how much music was intrinsically linked to daily life.”
He goes on to explain that a lot of time was spent gathering field recordings using a tape recorder and mobile phone, and Carnival is comprised heavily of these. More malleted instrumentation plays unobtrusively behind slowed down and stretched out sounds of street life, and the overall effect is a soothing one. The set’s highlight, and a definite musical-highlight-of-the-year-so-far (AKA MHOTYSF), is Nachtmusik; a deliberately paced workout for the neck muscles, with more xylophoneish timbres and haunting, affected speech loops. The almost breakbeat nature of closer Platz is a perfect signoff, with more Berlin ambience placed in a similar position in the mix to the partygoers of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On or the children of Four Tet’s Parks.
Please check out Seams’ bandcamp HERE, and find him supporting like-minded contemporary Gold Panda at XOYO in London on 3rd of March, and dates across Germany after.