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Album Review

Tsembla – “The Hole In The Landscape” – [NNA]

Phil Phactor   4/3/2019   12-inch, A Library

Tsembla is one Marja Ahti, a Swedish Finn (or Finnish Swede). She makes the synthetic sound real and the real sound surreal. On the opener Gravitating Bones, moody subterranean drones suddenly give way to bright, emotive chords, and that’s only the first of about 237 curveballs coming your way on this album. Once you get over your fear of getting lost, you’ll be able to enjoy the ride. The warped post-dub of Splash Erosion (A2) evokes the sound of several alarm clocks going off at once, but in a good way. Penumbra (A3) explores some questionable traditions before moving into a Broadcast vibe (there’s them curveballs again). On the flip, Instant Granite (B1) gives me some severe Mouse on Mars flashbacks, with its slippery, squiggly percussion. Closer Desert Lake starts with a choir of meowing cats and disintegrates from there. Always melancholy and yet strangely soothing, this is the rainy day album of an alien civilization.

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