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Tigrova Mast


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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Madly creative in the Mr. Bungle and Estradasphere fashion, writing short and packed energetic short tracks that intermingle and flow almost uninterrupted, this album is a fantastic avant-rock pill filled with electronic effects and experimentations that add to the enjoyment I make out of listening to it. This Croatian Trio mingles styles and sounds from (avant-)rock, to electronic to punk, to eastern/Arabic music and other sorts of folk and even all of them together; they do this with only a handful of tools, yet the resulting sound is very effective and convincing. Being a trio, makes all instruments "visible" to the ear and indeed each musician here performs very well; the bass stands out in particular. The tracks being mostly short, I don't even feel most of the time when they switch or move on as it almost all of the time flows naturally from one to the next. The band members refer to themselves as Gut (bass), Heart (drums) and Brain (keyboards). Indeed the bass playing is raw, aggressive and in-your-face sort of way. The drums seem to be all over the place, filled with passion yet under control. The microkorg is precise and punctual, almost pre-meditated and is a good contrast to the sound of the other two instruments.

What I love about this album is its intensity, the wise use of the instruments as well as the well crafted melodies; they manage to develop both the technical aspect as well as the composition side. The end result is very compelling to my ears. The sound of the keyboards is great; it is very distinct and is used wisely for the different purposes and adjusts itself to each track's style.

Again, the RAIG label manages to release another fascinating experimental/avant-rock album by a group that deserves the attention. To think this is the first album makes me look forward eagerly to their next album.

To sum this up, what a ride! Frenzy would be a good description. Recommended to fans of everything avant-rock, Ruins, Estradasphere, Mr. Bugnle, experimental rock with electronics and all that is innovative and creative.

Report this review (#170514)
Posted Saturday, May 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Croatian band Tigrova Mast was formed when the guitarist and keyboard player for Seven That Spells, Niko Potocnjak, found two other mad men who were willing to help him create the wackiest music imaginable, even more so than Seven That Spells.

Tigrova Mast play music that would be difficult to describe in other terms than avant-garde. This seems most suitable for them, just because they are so different. But the thing is, they are different without any real effort. It shows that they play music they want to play and this is felt in the compositions, which are so enthusiastic and exuberant that they bring a smile to your face. Besides the experimental elements, there are also some psychadelic influences, especially in the antiquated sound of the organ. Some Arabic (they use the same sample as Chemical Brothers on Galvanize to get that Eastern flavour) and Balkan influences are also present. Anything with the right energy was used in the making of this record.

The video footage, which shows the band on one of their concerts in Zagreb, also speaks volumes about the enthusiasm these guys have for music. The vibe is very reminiscent of punk or metal, even though there are no guitars in the music. When you see the guys walk on stage, you think that nothing much could come of this. Niko Potocnjak plays these miniature keyboards that many people would think is a child's toy. But he is able to create some wonders with this "toy".

Tigrova Mast play a modern avant-garde style of music. We could say they are a sort of upgrade to Mr. Bungle and we could also say they seem similar to Ruins in a way (sans the vocals, of course). We could name other similar bands, but the fact remains that these guys don't follow trends. They play their own wild music, which sucks you in with its enthusiasm and drive.

At first, the music seems fairly simple, but the longer you listen to them and try to follow the structures and patterns, the more you notice how devilishly tricky this music is. It is well composed and structured and rhythmically intricate. At first glance this is a trio with punk energy and a punk style of playing, but there is so much more depth and musical knowledge in the music.

One could say that Niko Potocnjak (or Brain) is the unofficial leader of the band. He plays a miniature keyboard called a microkorg. The sound is reminiscent to really antique organs and the effect is quite special. Sometimes these keyboard passages take you back to the 60s, while at other times they sound modern. It's spectacular! Then we also have the mad bass player, whose lines are bombastic, pulsating, very important and almost metal in nature. The sound of the bass is very prominent, as it should be. Jannick Top was also prominent in Magma. Finally, there is also a drummer with a great sense of rhythm, which is tougher than it sounds because the rhythmical patterns can be pretty intricate.

This band is amazing. The energy level on the studio album and on the live recording is fantastic. The guys know how to play, but they also know how to have fun. They are regular entertainers and it's no wonder that the Japanese have taken a shining to them (Yoshida Tatsuya was responsible for mastering the album). The album is an experimental frenzy. It is so powerful that even metal or punk releases cannot compare to it. Everyone who loves wild, modern experimental and avant-garde music will eat this album up because the music just flies by. The 33 minutes (plus the 37 minutes of the video) go by in a flash. This is one of the best modern bands, there's no doubt of that.

Report this review (#192427)
Posted Tuesday, December 9, 2008 | Review Permalink

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