(New Album Review) Tropic of Coldness- Demography of Data
Having recently published their third album, Demography of Data, to Organic Industries, Tropic of Coldness not only find themselves in the company of top-notch isolation/spiritual ambient in their labelmates Nobuto Suda, Brian Grainger, and Hakobune (among others), but have brought some of their best work yet to the level of recognition it deserves.
This American/Italian duo (a David and a Giovanni, that is all we need to know) may superficially remind some of the similarly drolly-named pair The Fun Years. That they are both two-man outfits who make electro-acoustic textural music is where the similarity ends, though. The Fun Years’s sounds are richly-detailed, but they are dominated by the fornent textures, as the most recognizable hallmark of a Fun Years record is not necessarily Ben Recht’s guitar but the thick film of vinyl hiss from Isaac Sparks’s turntable. The Fun Years focus on crowding details at the surface, whereas Tropic of Coldness tend to push all the activity into the diffused darkness beneath. The surface of the Tropic’s music is pristine so that one may appreciate the delicate collages of field recordings and tones from guitars and synths that shift and glow slowly, almost always in the shadows of the notes in the foreground.
And herein is the warrant for Tropic of Coldness’s odd name. The resounding silences of their musical spaces breed lustrous tiny ecosystems of sound. Here lie coldly cool treasures.