Review from Igloomag, read the article here
Vibrant and consistent, both show Martin’s continual relevance in the continually changing landscape of the style he was centrally involved in developing.
Maps And Diagrams ‘A Pulsating History’
Tim Martin’s work as Maps And Diagrams over the last several years has focused increasingly on texture, mood and increasingly subtle dynamic manipulation; and his most recent full-length release, A Pulsating History, follows in this vein. A continuation of the experimentation with field textures that became a primary element in Koom and Foel (and continued through further ambient works Cubiculo, Tööpudus and Tintinnabulate) the album presents as a dual sided digital LP release through French netlabel Beko, four songs per digital side (A&B) and an accompanying text document on the history of lentils.
The lentil essay is an engaging red herring – presenting something so incongruous with the material reminds this aging reviewer of Tool’s presentation of a recipe for hash cookies, read in a sinister German context on Aenima several years ago. Whatever the point of this diversion is, it comes as a welcome circuit breaker to your perception of the music on offer, and is also a welcome injection of humour into what can at times be a self congratulatory and po-faced genre.
Those familiar with and appreciative of the Maps And Diagrams releases above will find this material to their liking – one primary point of distinction is the creative use of what sounds like field recordings, seemingly consistently used throughout the release. The enveloping nature sounds behind the static drone of opener “This Modern Century” continue through the manipulated guitar of “Anti-Clockwise” before the addition of the reassuring bottom end of “First Quarter.”
The release notes provided with the record state that the project was designed around the concept of pulses, and nowhere is this more apparent than on “First Quarter.” Elsewhere, unconventional loop work and restrained peaks and troughs prove effective in continuing the pulsating theme. The emotive “On Esquiline Hill” (featuring Cactus Island stable-mate Ylid) proves a tantalizingly unsolvable puzzle with its submerged conversations at the tail end of the track. The devolving drone of “Particles Of Earth” deconstructs gently into the electronic lilt of “Coming In From The Cold.” The Baraka-esque percussion of “The Lonely Planet,” and its insistent representation of mobile phone interference, closes out a well-paced and intelligent exploration of mood and electronic experimentation.
As with other Beko releases, This Pulsating History is available from their site at no cost, as is Martin’s recent collaboration with poet Estela Lamat (which also falls squarely into the category of electronic experimentation). Vibrant and consistent, both show Martin’s continual relevance in the continually changing landscape of the style he was centrally involved in developing.
A Pulsating History is out now on BEKO DSL. Download it here