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Tadeo

Contacto

(Net28; US: 20 Jan 2009; UK: Available as import)

Like many producers these days, Tadeo is a multi-tasker.  When he’s not running his own label (Cyclical Tracks), he’s co-captain, along with fellow Spaniards Damían Schwartz and Alex Under, at the helms of Net28.  Perhaps that’s why Tadeo keeps it simple on his debut LP for Net28, Contacto.  With his head in the stars, Tadeo’s astronomically-inclined album seeks its communion via sonar signals sent out in a basement laptop SETI satellite tracking device.  To translate, that means he’s perhaps closest in kin musically to the bleep music that spun out of the UK in the early ‘90s, judging by the persistent signal that echoes throughout the mix, ping-ponging against irregular and standard beats alike.  That the latter sounds themselves owe a debt to Detroit by way of Derrick May and outlander Ritchie Hawtin can also be heard subtly in the mix.  Using some hi-def, stripped, and super-simple synths layered atop primitive wiry drum machine rhythms, Contacto seems to be using modern technology to speak an old language, communicating as much with past astral travelers as the interstellar hubs on his odyssean journey to exotic locales like “Jupiter”, “Orión”, and “M31 Andromeda”.


Tadeo’s bleep tones show just how much can be done with very little on the first three tracks, the nascent “Virgo”, the dizzying “Eclipse”, and the ambient washes of “Titán”.  After some time, though, the formula runs a bit dry on ideas, although there’s enough good stuff in between (“Captacion”, “Reflection Nebula 056h”) to make you hold onto the album to its unexpected denouement in the still-life dubscape of “Metro”. It’s the last and most out-of-place track on Contacto, which otherwise finds ever-fashionable dub to be too earthen for its cosmic voyage.  With music this bare, there are less places to fail, which can either be highly rewarding or disastrous.  Tadeo gives his listeners a mix of both, though one can be optimistic that he will one day likely grant us an all-access space cruise once he gets all his priorities in line.

Rating:

Timothy Gabriele is a writer who studied English and Film at the University of Massachussetts at Amherst. He currently lives in the New Haven, CT region with his fmaily. His column, The Difference Engine, appears regularly at PopMatters. He can be found twittering @Wildcorrective and blogging at 555 Enterprises.


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