Tarentel: Live Edits: Italy/Switzerland

Live Edits collects individual performances from Tarentel's 2005 Italy/Switzerland tour and stitches them together as an often gripping end-to-end experience.


Live Edits: Italy/Switzerland

Label: Digitalis Arts & Crafts
Online Release Date: 2008-12-22
Artist website

Forget what you thought you knew about Tarentel as kissing cousins of Mono and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Sometime between 2004's We Move Through Weather and 2007's deranged Ghetto Beats on the Surface of the Sun, the San Francisco collective dropped all noodly post-rock conventions and began summoning soot-covered sonic assaults. Live Edits: Italy/Switzerland collects performances from their 2005 tour immediately following the release of their EPs Paper White and Big Black Square, just around the time when they began to change course. They were a trio at that point, consisting of constants Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Danny Grody and new recruit Jim Redd. It's hard to imagine former members Trevor Montgomery (now of Lazarus) and Jeffrey Rosenberg (now of Lavender Diamond) even being in the audience.

As per the title, Live Edits isn't a sequential account of the tour but a patchwork of individual live tracks edited to create an end-to-end experience. Only a few Swiss and Italian people know whether it's representative of Tarentel's sets from start to finish, but in a way it doesn't matter, since the tracks fall into a unique arrangement that makes for difficult but often gripping listening. The record literally begins with a bang, when "Lugano, Switzerland" tricks attendees into thinking the equipment has just blown out, before sliding into the first "Geneva, Switzerland", Live Edits' signal moment. It's a clenched, no-nonsense, doped-up tribal drum workout in the vein of Big Black Square that justifies all 12 of its minutes, the sort of noise-and-percussion bombast the Shalabi Effect once did so well. It's also a red herring, as the record then plunges into a drumless vortex of digital detritus, delay pedals and occasional melodicism. The two tracks entitled "Massa Carrara, Italy" provide glimpses of a peculiar beauty we might never have heard from Tarentel if they hadn't taken such risks; tellingly, the prettier one appears last, a clear respite for those who make it through. Not every track rewards engagement (the second "Geneva, Switzerland" is pretty boring), but Live Edits' summative effect is as cryptically exotic as the cities in which it took place.


So far J. J. Abrams and Rian Johnson resemble children at play, remaking the films they fell in love with. As an audience, however, we desire a fuller experience.

As recently as the lackluster episodes I-III of the Star Wars saga, the embossed gold logo followed by scrolling prologue text was cause for excitement. In the approach to the release of any of the then new prequel installments, the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, followed by the Lucas Film logo, teased one's impulsive excitement at a glimpse into the next installment's narrative. Then sat in the movie theatre on the anticipated day of release, the sight and sound of the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare signalled the end of fevered anticipation. Whatever happened to those times? For some of us, is it a product of youth in which age now denies us the ability to lose ourselves within such adolescent pleasure? There's no answer to this question -- only the realisation that this sensation is missing and it has been since the summer of 2005. Star Wars is now a movie to tick off your to-watch list, no longer a spark in the dreary reality of the everyday. The magic has disappeared… Star Wars is spiritually dead.

Keep reading... Show less

This has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it.

It hardly needs to be said that the last 12 months haven't been everyone's favorite, but it does deserve to be noted that 2017 has been a remarkable year for shoegaze. If it were only for the re-raising of two central pillars of the initial scene it would still have been enough, but that wasn't even the half of it. Other longtime dreamers either reappeared or kept up their recent hot streaks, and a number of relative newcomers established their place in what has become one of the more robust rock subgenre subcultures out there.

Keep reading... Show less

​'The Ferryman': Ephemeral Ideas, Eternal Tragedies

The current cast of The Ferryman in London's West End. Photo by Johan Persson. (Courtesy of The Corner Shop)

Staggeringly multi-layered, dangerously fast-paced and rich in characterizations, dialogue and context, Jez Butterworth's new hit about a family during the time of Ireland's the Troubles leaves the audience breathless, sweaty and tearful, in a nightmarish, dry-heaving haze.

"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

Keep reading... Show less

Aaron Sorkin's real-life twister about Molly Bloom, an Olympic skier turned high-stakes poker wrangler, is scorchingly fun but never takes its heroine as seriously as the men.

Chances are, we will never see a heartwarming Aaron Sorkin movie about somebody with a learning disability or severe handicap they had to overcome. This is for the best. The most caffeinated major American screenwriter, Sorkin only seems to find his voice when inhabiting a frantically energetic persona whose thoughts outrun their ability to verbalize and emote them. The start of his latest movie, Molly's Game, is so resolutely Sorkin-esque that it's almost a self-parody. Only this time, like most of his better work, it's based on a true story.

Keep reading... Show less

There's something characteristically English about the Royal Society, whereby strangers gather under the aegis of some shared interest to read, study, and form friendships and in which they are implicitly agreed to exist insulated and apart from political differences.

There is an amusing detail in The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn that is emblematic of the kind of intellectual passions that animated the educated elite of late 17th-century England. We learn that Henry Oldenburg, the first secretary of the Royal Society, had for many years carried on a bitter dispute with Robert Hooke, one of the great polymaths of the era whose name still appears to students of physics and biology. Was the root of their quarrel a personality clash, was it over money or property, over love, ego, values? Something simple and recognizable? The precise source of their conflict was none of the above exactly but is nevertheless revealing of a specific early modern English context: They were in dispute, Margaret Willes writes, "over the development of the balance-spring regulator watch mechanism."

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.