Album Review

Tender Buttons – “Forbidden Symmetries” – [Rastascan Records]

Naysayer   1/4/2017   12-inch, A Library

Tender Buttons is the exquisite project from Tania Chen, Tom Djll, and Gino Robair, three masters in the field of experimental electronic and acoustic improvisation. “Forbidden Symmetries”, their first full release, on Rastascan Records, are two full side pieces of electronic exploration. Influenced by Gertrude Stein, Fluxus, Kling Klang studio, among other things, Tender Buttons’ improvisational style is filled with electronic blurbles and bleeps as well as subtle hums, reverberations and echoes. Playing alongside piano, the trio is not afraid to use space and silence as an integral part of their performance. So John Cage is also an inspiration. Each piece is a journey of sound eliciting visual and auditory memory, carrying the listener to a variety of places guided by the interplay of piano and electronic noodling. Like the gorgeous cover of guidelines and map design and directions exploded, the sounds fly around, stop, pause, restart, continue, redirect. A glorious auditory journey.

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