(New Album Review) Mind Over MIDI- Deep Map

As Mind Over MIDI, veteran producer Helge Tømmervåg has since the late 90’s pioneered a style that takes the features of dub-influenced techno into increasingly abstract zones. Experimental electronica’s textural preoccupation with the ever-so-slight permeation of “noise” in the form of reverberating clicks and pops, arguably begun with Stefan Betke’s Pole, comes to a head with the spacious pads of dub techno in this guy’s work. While Brock Van Wey’s bvdub releases evoke cinematic melancholy in epic-length sonic blizzards, Mind Over MIDI is all minimal, down-tempo mystery, engulfed by shadows. Moreover, over the years, Tømmervåg’s output has gotten progressively more exploratory and experimental.

Deep Map, Tømmervåg’s third outing with diametic., due December 7th, will be of particular interest not just to fans of Mind Over MIDI but to those into purely ambient sounds, as this one is all beatless ambient: a spacious soundscape of chilly synths slowly shifting in tandem with field recordings, covered with a snowy layer of dubby hisses and crackles. Emotive sweeps and swells give a sense of the cosmic to scenes from a Norwegian forest in winter. I was let down when, in the final moments of “Sound and Silence” (in which Tømmervåg makes the interesting choice to process what sounds like handling noise from a field recorder to add another element to the ambience),  I realized the trip had come to an end– this one has a way of creating the feeling of a suspension in time. An exceptionally intriguing offering from a legendary producer.

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