“Maps of reason” in Ondarock

Il duo italo-americano dei Tropic Of Coldness, formatosi nel 2011 a Bruxelles, giunge nel 2019 al suo sesto album, confermandosi come punto di riferimento tra i progetti di soundscape ambientali più dilatati e meditativi. “Maps Of Reason” si pone nel solco degli album precedenti come un ambient senza scossoni, bensì fluido e rassicurante con loop e note di chitarra che si susseguono senza ansie o inquietudini. 
Non c’è timore, nella musica dei Tropic Of Coldness, ma solo ricerca di pace ed equilibrio, di spazi infiniti, di ipnosi meditativa e sogno, mai di incubo. L’obiettivo è quello di creare una musica per l’anima, un’anima in armonioso equilibrio col tutto. I riverberi di chitarra, i loop, i synth e le sovrapposizioni sono alla base della creatività del duo, che coniuga acustica e elettronica in modo meno cupo di album come “Unrelated Casualities” (2013).
La chitarra finale della title track (11 minuti), le saturazioni ipereteree di “The Loss Of Empathy” alternate a venti simili a canti lontani, gli equilibri statici di “The Beauty And The Meaning”, con nuovo finale di chitarra, e il field record delle onde marine di “Diving For Pearls” (il brano meno rassicurante) sono i momenti migliori di un Lp che conferma le doti dei Tropic Of Couldness, fedeli e rispettosi dei canoni dell’ambient più etereo.

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“Maps of reason” in Music won’t save you

https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/v=2/album=2907080919/size=small/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/artwork=none/

TROPIC OF COLDNESS – Maps Of Reason (KrysaliSound, 2019) Quattro tracce di lunghezza omogenea, intorno ai dieci minuti ciascuna, si adattano alla perfezione a riempire le due facciate di un vinile, il primo prodotto dall’etichetta KrysaliSound, curata da Francis M. Gri e ormai da qualche anno affermatasi quale interessante polo d’attrazione di una ricerca elettro-acustica […]

via — music won’t save you

“Maps of reason” in Fluid Radio

Most Ambient of the present minute is precluded on one map of reason that relates to the ontology of the self. What does that mean Age, demographic, production time, together time, creation processes, and infinite gestures from a finite Drone void, in other words – a “map of reason”. But that’s just one map of reason, and a complex map. How do we make the map further simplified? The answer would seem to lie in the relationship each individual has with the specific music, the map in question, to use appropriate metaphor. This is what Tropic Of Coldness invite us to do here.

First of all, the vinyl artwork is sublime; a sort of intersexual build of male / ectomorph female vulnerability sitting in an upright, almost foetal pose. This calls to mind the labyrinths of the mind ToC are so good at swimming through with their hazy Robin Guthrie-esque guitars and swathes of delays and feedback trails. And that would seem their own ontology, a “reason for a map”, if you will. I am not inclined to read what their idea of a map here is about; I would rather the music dictate to me a perception, because music foretells so much more than words ever can. That said, there is a backstory behind this record, like most records. And at any extent, it sounds incredibly well produced. Just take “The Beauty And The Meaning”, track one, an achingly beautiful navel-gaze into an ever-circling storm in a tea cup.

Meanwhile, “Maps Of Reason” further in (but only track two) is a return to the form “Demography Of Data” left us with as a whole LP. Navel gazing is at once centred as it is permeate; looking around while listening to sounds similar to this creates a huge, mundane anti-nausea. The mundanity of it is to compliment it in my case – my meaning of mundane is “functional, precise” and not the other way round. Not boring. Not half-finished. This stuff is brilliantly formed and well-edited, like a densely packed novel that could do with some fleshing out to embrace the moments – and the navel gazing – as deeply as the navel will allow.

Talking a titter, when one (an Ambient producer, or whatnot) goes beyond the functional, music becomes artsy, opaque and like it is intended to needing adjustment to, to be naturally awkward. The “Art/alternative” style sections in record stores, however appreciated they are, are the opposite of what I look for in records, and the opposite of what ToC offer. ToC offer great music – just like on “The Loss Of Empathy”. And they do not need any labels to say “screw you mainstream, like me or lump me”.

It’s never been about that for mature musicians. Of course, when you’re a teen, just starting out, it’s the kind of thing you do, you have a chip on your shoulder, and a frown as big as a boulder. Ambient for me never needed to do that – if you want to frown, go to noise parties or Skrillex brostep nights. Tropic Of Coldness, like Rameses III before them, do not like to play for too long in one go. It could actually be wagered it’s because music like this is so affecting, at times sad, but in true meaning deep and not weird at all, just deep. It’s perfect music for a lazy evening bath.

Closing piece “Diving For Pearls” to me understates the real meaning behind this album, the entirety is a large pearl of wisdom, never caught inside the clam, left to roll out on the ocean floor and find new hydrated horizons eventually, washed up on a shore. But far from being musically washed up, this is essentially the breakthrough record for Tropic Of Coldness, and they could not have chosen a better label to release this on than KrysaliSound. It’s the sound of it, just the sound of it. The music, the label, is the map, the reason. When you have true reason to do anything, that’s when you feel like you’ve achieved something.

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KS31 – TROPIC OF COLDNESS Maps of reason

Every little step is a brick added to a house under construction. In 2010 I created Krysalisound to publish my own works, then in 2016 I opened the doors to other artists releasing short runs in eco-friendly editions and now, almost ten years after the opening, I am proud to present the first vinyl in a home that  is taking shape more and more each day. And I’m very happy to publish the first vinyl with what I consider, up until now, the masterpiece of Tropic of Coldness.
“Maps of reason” is the new album by the duo Gutman / La Placa, a mature work of rare sensitivity that manages to combine all the nuances of the soul as points of a map that every human being hides inside. A deep and layered album that struck me from the first moment and that continues to affect me with new details that emerge with each listening.
There are works that are born perfectly aligned with the creative flow, capable with their inspiring charge of really carrying the listener to far away places. I believe that “Maps of reason” has this inner strength and in a world so overflowing with soulless music it is truly an unexpected gift.

This is the opening track of the album, released 31st March 2019… Enjoy!

KS30 – Hirotaka Shirotsubaki “Last Goodbye”

I’m pleased to close the year with an artist that I personally contacted for publishing with KrysaliSound after having listened to his album “Wet Petals” released by Naviar Records.
Hirotaka Shirotsubaki is a Kobe-based musician that uses sampled guitars to create dreamy landscapes and emotional textures moving the listener in a quiet and safe inner dwelling. I am proud to present his new album “Last Goodbye” available in KrysaliSound’s catalogue starting from December 9. About the album Hirotaka says:

“In Japan, the era called “Heisei” will end this year. My life was with this “Heisei” era. In order to live a new era with one break at the end of this era while I am alive, I have decided the title of this album to be “last goodbye” with a determination of parting. The 6 tracks that make up this album have my memory fragments scattered around.”

  • Performed and recorded in Kobe between April and October 2018
  • Mastering by Francis M. Gri in 2018
  • Available in digital format and in KS Digifile from December 9, 2018