steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion


"Ephemera" CD

Temporary Residence Ltd.

Genres: space rock, ambient rock

PO Box 22910
Baltimore, MD 21203 USA

June 24 - 30 2002

There's trouble in space rock town and Tarentel's the culprit!  In a land populated by Mogwai, Yume Bitsu, and the seven million Godspeed You Black Emperor! offshoots, Tarentel has found a little place for itself and is now posing quite a threat to the spacey veterans.

The ironically-titled Ephemera starts off with a beautiful piece called "The Waltz" that rolls along smoothly, starting up with calm, minimalist guitar playing, and then gradually builds up the tension by adding bass, drums, and shifting cymbals to the mixture.  The evolution of the track is very gradual, yet extraordinarily intense; while its repetitive nature may bother those with little patience, the few who wait will be pleasantly surprised by the pure talent for songwriting and performance it showcases.  Whisking through likenesses to Fly Pan Am, Sonic Youth, and Tortoise, the band carries out the piece carefully and flawlessly, and the results are accordingly brilliant.

The two parts of "Two Sides of Myself" are similarly wonderful.  The first part starts with calm guitar strokes, and then slowly builds up into a powerful, yet restrained, movement.  Upon reaching its climax, it decelerates and regresses steadily back to the calmness in which it started.  The second part is much more experimental.  Quiet guitar twangs fly by under a layer of ambient amplifier drone.  And while, unlike its predecessor, it never builds up or slows down, it still manages to be a beautiful piece, feeding the listener's ears with a stream of hum and spacey guitar whispers.

Ephemera could be the best singles collection out this year.  Each track not only stands well on its own, but also flows seamlessly with the others; this could have been called an album and nobody would have questioned it.  Releases this wonderful don't come around all that often; go out and snatch Ephemera while you still can.


Matt Shimmer