Terekke - Improvisational Loops
With a title like Improvisational Loops this new record from Terekke feels like a bit of a mystery going into it. The song structures offer no other clues ranging from just over a minute to almost twenty, this album feels no drive to be any one kind of thing. "Nuwav2" the longest track on the record and the real meat and bones of it, unfolds at a glacial pace allowing each new electronic flow to slowly wash over you. A gentle click eventually puts a slight beat down but only for a moment, leaving you floating in this ethereal realm of beauty and magic. Terekke never feels forced, almost to the point where you are desperate to pull the notes from him, begging for more. Ambient music can be a lot of things: filler, evocative, tranportative or damn near anything the artists want them to be, but a lot of them tend to focus on bringing life to a place through music. This album is no different but the view is much hazier and the journey a hell of a lot more directionless. Nearly halfway through "Nuwav2" almost nothing has happened, just surging synths among a ton of haze. It's a really beautiful piece of music, something that would soundtrack a walk through a foggy forest or a slow float down a river, but it feels so mundane that it leaves you wanting something to happen some kind of big sweeping shift in the music. You expect some kind of surprise around one of these corners, something to shock you back into awareness, but Terekke is content with the journey rather than punctuating the destination. It's really a quite frustrating experience at times but it makes the moments when the music does shift and change into something new all the more scrumptious. At about 13 minutes in to "Nuwav2" we finally start getting some disparate keys, which is such a relief but never really materializes into anything substantive. You are simply left alone to think, and to float, which maybe that's the point.
In case you had any doubt that this was an ambient record one of the tracks is actually called "ambien" and it's the one time we begin to hear a skittering synth line with some actual structure to it. It's distant and you find yourself reaching to pull it in through the haze, but Terekke always keeps it just out of reach. The songs all have distinct sounds to them and the synths tend to get a bit bigger and bolder as the album goes on, a reward for your patience through the fog. Yet everything here, and I mean everything feels like an unfulfilled promise. Terekke sets up these soundscapes, pulls you in then really does nothing. You can be fully enamored with what is going on, but eventually the track is simply going to drop out leaving you alone, in the quiet with an itch totally unscratched. By the time you reach the last track it's almost a shock that this thing flew by so fast. The album just sucks you in and even if the experience isn't all that euphoric it is certainly immersive. You fall down the rabbit whole that is this album, lost in the dark for awhile only to stumble out of the other side back into daylight and back into the real world. It's hard to tell if this is a great experience or a just OK one because when you are in it, you are simply in it. The album takes over your whole sensory experience and becomes the reality. This is an album that changes the way you think about the way an album can function, and what music can be, but whether that is a good thing or bad is yet to be seen.
6.8 out of 10