TATRAS / OOSTANAULA “split” (Park 70)

The Knoxville-based label Park 70 brings us this split tape from Tatras and Oostanaula. Tatras’ side of the tape is a soup that swells and morphs. A fine stew of thick and booming textures that heave and retract, building and waning. Guitars, bowed cymbals, synths, fields recordings (and probably some other things) swim around and merge with one another. There are melodic moments that come in and out, which give it a nice balance as well. A segment of arpeggiated synth accompanied by field recordings and other nebulous sound sources feels like you’re in a dream at a street-side café and a car drives by playing Tangerine Dream (pun intended). All of the elements in these two tracks seem to meld together and coalesce to form a unified but mutating texture.

Oostanaula’s side of the tape is also fairly soupy, and I mean that in the best way possible. Field recordings of waves and gulls fold over themselves and are joined by flutes and drones. The overall feel of this music is not terribly different from Tatras’ side of the tape, but this track, titled “Cobra Pit (Lorazepam Shift)”, has a more ominous feeling to it at points. Some of the tonal aspects are more foreboding, if not downright dissonant, than the tonal moments on the A side. (Not to say that this track is all doom and gloom; there are certainly more consonant moments featuring flutes, vocals and guitars.) But this helps to balance the overall release as well. I think this is a great pairing of two musical projects and it’s the type of subtle curating that really adds to the impact of the entire release. So kudos to the folks at Park 70 for that as well. If you’re a fan of ambient or experimental music, check this release out. I know I will be playing it again in the near future.


--James Searfoss