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Tartar Lamb - Sixty Metonymies CD (album) cover


Tartar Lamb



3.25 | 22 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
2 stars Clouds erupting from sound

Tartar Lamb is most likely Toby Driver's most ambitious project. Born from the idea for a guitar-violin duo, Driver got fellow Kayo Dot bandmate Mia Matsumiya to play with him on his next adventure in the realm of sound, Sixty Metonymies, a 40 minute minimalistic, avant-garde, experimental, contemporary atonal classical piece not for the faint of heart. Preying on the whims of dissonance, atonality, and all the unconventional playing techniques the man could think of, the album is certainly unique. However, the music that is found on the album is cold and desolate, an expression of mesmerism and frozen nights spent without heat and at the neck of a guitar and the tip of pen on staff paper. When recorded, the music erupts forth like a star swallowed unknowingly by a sparrow, who cringes by the bitter taste but looks for more because the thrill of knowing that nothing else exists in this plane of existence like it. With little to its name musically but the fact that it has little to its name musically, the song leaches your senses and scrapes your ears with the blunt side of a blade sharpened by determination and the will to emerge unique and uncopied. The 40 minutes are like a bleaching period- you enter dirtied and emerge scraped clean by some unnatural force; you are stripped of your musical innocence as your conception of music is violently ripped down, reconstructed, ripped down again and then transformed into some being not of this dimension; any other exposition into sonics sounds like a drab reincarnate of a former existence, and nothing can stop this feeling.

As an album, Sixty Metonymies is pathetic. In conventional terms it is nothing more than noise for minutes on end. But in superflection one can see the true nature of the massive beast, an obvious masterpiece in the modern realm of atonal classical, and in supernatural sonics. Overall, the album (in 'earthly' terms) is pretty boring, so my first instinct was to give this a 1 star rating, but with further exploration the true beauty of this album's ugliness sank in. However, I can't overlook the fact that this album truly has nothing to it; it is a bare-bone, random note following random note, noise driven album. It has, in traditional terms, no melody, harmony, structure, or any of that nonsense. It does, however, have vision, and this shows the obvious modern genius that Driver is. I really, however, feel like this album is not the greatest earthly musical expose out there, and is meant for just those living in another realm. 2+ stars.

Yes, I know, I basically praised this album the entire review, but I can't really break it down, it is too cold and uninviting for any real consideration as a musical work.

Andy Webb | 2/5 |


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