VA: Emerging Organisms 3
Tympanik Audio

As per usual, there's no shortage of apocalyptic, end-of-the-world material on Tympanik Audio's third Emerging Organisms round-up, the kind of stuff that could legitimately play as a soundtrack to the Final Days; and also as usual, the contributors largely come from the darkest corners of the dark electronic music spectrum, with affiliated artists from Hymen, Ad Noiseam, Ant-Zen, Spectral Liquid, and the like taking part. Those with an appetite for viral hell-raising may wish to proceed directly to pieces by Access To Arasaka (“Kill Recorder”), Klangstabil (Subheim's remix of “Beziehungsohr”), Candle Nine (“Penumbra”), Lucidstatic (an Access To Arasaka remix of “Coal Cage”), Displacer (“Sun_Phase (Nightfall mix)”), Fractional (“Blood”), and Keef Baker (“Trion”).

With “Seven Endings (Departure),” Ant-Zen's S:cage breaks free of the dark electronic straitjacket by an artful sound design that reflects a better-than-average level of sophistication and imagination. On disc two, Undermathic accomplishes much the same with “Bodhi,” a meticulously sculpted set-piece of percussive richness and string atmospheres, as do Skytree and OTX with their respective tracks, the restrained “Stomata Spirit” and “Anna.” Also standing out from the wreckage are Exhale's more orchestral take on the genre (“Clear Green”), SE's gloomscaping (“Chrono”), and Metaform's synth-encrusted stepper “OCD.”

Tympanik Audio's got a few other surprises up its coal black sleeve too. One-time Funkstorung member Michael Fakesch appears, though why “Rand VA,” a track from his 1999 Marion release, is included rather than something more recent is a tad mystifying. Regardless, the drum programming is a marvel to behold, and the track sounds good even if it's a blast from the past. It's nice to see Terminal Sound System included, too, as the Extreme artist's work—as “We Eat the Sun,” which alternates between fleet-footed locomotion and crushing heaviosity, illustrates—is definitely worth hearing.

Like its predecessors, Emerging Organisms 3 is not for the weak of heart, but the label presumably wouldn't have it any other way. And during its 150 minutes, there's certainly more than enough bass throb, brooding strings, and electronic beats that hammer, pound, squiggle, screech, and skitter on hand to keep genre devotees well-sated for at least a month or two.

March 2010