Sawi Lieu: Pasaraya tape (Constellation Tatsu, 2013)

June 30, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Sawi Lieu: Pasaraya

Sawi Lieu: Pasaraya

Impressive new discovery from Constellation Tatsu. Pretty much all I can tell about the artist is that he’s from Indonesia, and he’s had a split CDr and netlabel album released previously. This tape runs pretty long (almost 70 minutes) and has a wealth of ideas, running from ambient jungle synths to cracked drum machine fizziness to chilled-out juke to interstellar voyages. “Layar Maya” opens the tape with a few minutes of bright synths that make you expect some bass and breakbeats circa mid-’90s Logical Progression-era drum’n’bass to come in, but after 3 minutes instead of a beat dropping, there’s some busy, fractalized synths which melt into a slowly blipping sine wave which forms some sort of Morse code like pattern and then multiplies and expands, leading into “Tenaga Lara”, with another fast drum machine pattern and more ambient jungle synths, which gains something closer to a breakbeat. There’s a bit of an extended break where the beat drops out and the synths wash over in distortion, before the drum machine starts clicking away again. “Amazonas” keeps sounds like it’s swelling up to erupt into a beat or rhythm, but it never does, it just keeps on gliding, ending with some rainforest bird sounds. These birds also lead off “Sneaking Into The Pulsar Wave”, which rides a rather oblong synth rhythm, which twists and distorts while more ambient synths flower around it. “Sujectless World” is the most juke-sounding track here, but still reminds me more of ambient jungle. Nice waterfall-like drum pattern, and some sneakily panning, pixelating synth bits. The track seems to stay in one place, under that waterfall, but keeps accumulating distorted spray. “Panorama Prescription” has another chilled but busy drum pattern, softly flickering synths and an occasional gentle, blushing synth melody. Things sound like they’re about to get out of control for a second towards the end, but then it strips back to the flowing ambient synth pattern. “Pasaraya 88” has another simple, blipping beat and calm synths, which occasionally flare up with echo, and it ends with a sort of confused and scrambled but fun part, which goes into “Interstellar Life”, a longer journey which spends more time building up a beat and adding layers of melodies and effects. The beat goes away for and while and when it comes back, it feels like it’s not fit on quite right, and then everything goes haywire with all sorts of swooping, swarming, flanging effects. “Familiar Landscape” starts out quiet and minimal, but then some cymbal shimmers start cascading in, warping and changing color, before a brief looped plucked melody, and then some more ambient synths bubbling ever upward. After this bubbles over, we enter the 17 minute epic “Unforseeable Photosynthesis”, opening with more rainforest birds, then gently pounding drums and a subtle bassline. The drums drop out after about 7 and a half minutes, leaving some calmness for a while, but then some whistling, chirping synth sounds emerge and start to build another swirling, drumless rhythm. There’s more bird sounds, but it doesn’t really change up from the meditative synth mood. “Unfamiliar Landscape” slashes everything with light so bright it almost singes, distracting you from the nothingness behind it. And so ends one of the most impressive out-of-nowhere tapes I’ve heard all year.

Leave a Comment »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: