Tomas Barfod: Pulsing EP

[29 April 2014]

By Adam Finley

Though he has been around for more than a decade, Danish drummer/beatmaker Tomas Barfod (WhoMadeWho, Filur) has only recently embarked on a solo career. His debut LP, Salton Sea, was released less than two years ago. Beautifully layered and immaculately constructed, it won him deserving praise. His follow-up LP will be out on Secretly Canadian in June, and WhoMadeWho’s 5th album dropped in March, but lest he be accused of going more than a week without crafting a polyrhythm, Barfod has released an EP in the meantime.

Pulsing marks the continuation of Barfod’s collaboration with Nina Kinert, which made “November Skies” such a memorable track. “Pulsing” plays casually at the intersection of tech house and pop structures, Nina’s performance stealing the show just barely. The song isn’t as peppy or quirky as “November Skies”, and indeed, nothing on Pulsing can quite match the best moments of Salton Sea. Pulsing is an airy, gaseous mix of tracks that feels overall smaller than its predecessor.

“Pulsing” is the strongest track here, but “Tea Cup” is a pleasant rhythmic oddysey comprised of sparse components that create a strong sense of forward motion. “Value of Feint”, on the other hand, is a slow burner that refuses to be rushed to its destination. In less-skilled hands it could have been boring, but the control shown by Barfod makes it, and the EP as a whole, a moderate success. It’s not the best entrypoint into his body of work, but as a prelude to the impending full-length, it does its job admirably.

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