The Needle Was Travelling
The Needle Was Travelling
Good news coming up for Tarwater, even better ones, too. After leaving Kitty-Yo, Ronald Lippok and Bernd Jestram have found a new artistic home. "The Needle Was Traveling" is their fifth regular album and their first release on Morr Music. It shows the duo that in 1996 sprang from East Berlin underground bands like Rosa Extra and Ornament & Verbrechen at the height of their artistic abilities. Among those who already had a chance to listen it's widely considered to be their masterpiece.
The superb opener "Across The Dial" (and, if anything, "Unseen In The Disco", a strong contender for a top position in the list of their All Time Faves) already shows clearly that Tarwater must have put a real task upon themselves when they started working on this album in the autumn of 2003. There is a new tone to their music now, breathing a narrative quality into their songs. Carried by a warm and softly insisting pulse, they glide from one track, one chapter to the next while exploring bewitched, yet strangely familiar landscapes - you'll never really know if they are placed on a time axis in a far away future or if they are part of a long forgotten universe, which is said to have been the place where thruth once used to live.
Everything seems as if glowing from the inside, created in nocturnal moments of sudden clarity, when all which has been scattered around losely before, moves into its right place and sticks to an inner coherence and a logic you can¹t help but follow blindly.
With the minimalist "Silur" which came out in 1998 and marked their artistic breakthrough, and the even more successful follow up album "Animals, Suns & Atoms", released two years later, it was still somehow possible to relate the music to buzzwords like "Triphop" and "Electronica". Today, Tarwater¹s hermetic and ambiguously shining sound alchemy is at a point where you just cannot tell anymore when it has actually been created. Even the question wether producing music electronically automatically leads to an artistic advantage a topic heavily discussed a few years ago completely loses its meaning here.
The reason why "The Needle Was Traveling" sounds as strong and coherent as it does might on the contrary be Tarwater`s turning away from organising their music repetetively. What used to be tracks is turning more and more into songs, a development that already started with their last album "Dwellers On The Threshold". For the first time, the band didn`t develop their music by first layering keyboard sounds. They rather worked on the interaction of "traditional" instruments like bass, drums and guitar.
Samples and other parts triggered by keyboards have only been added
at a later stage of the songwriting process as well as contributions by friends like Dirk Dresselhaus (Schneider TM), Marc Weiser (Rechenzentrum) or Hanno Leichtmann (Static), who accidentally popped into Bernd Jestram`s newly established studio and got more or less spontaneously involved into the artistic process.
The result is an album displaying both a strong formal concept and a wealth of details at the same time. "The Needle Was Traveling" is one of those highly addictive records with a long half-life, where a lot is to be discovered instantly and some unfolds itself only after listening week in, week out.
During twelve months of recording, Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok came up with so much material that it hardly fits on on a single record. The CD version will feature 13 original songs, and also a cover version of "Babylonian Tower" by the almost forgotten, belgian-israeli Postpunk Band Minimal Compact. The vinyl version will be released as a double album containing 20 minutes of bonus material on the fourth side.