Tigrics: Synki
Highpoint Lowlife

Tigrics ( Budapest, Hungary native Róbert Bereznyei) makes an auspicious debut with nine ear-bending pieces on his full-length debut Synki. The collection is a stylistically shape-shifting creature that variously tilts in the direction of IDM, field recordings-based soundscaping, and drones, but also includes moments of jazz, hip-hop, and funk too. An air of open-minded, even loony, experimentalism pervades the material, whether it's a vignette like the forty-eight-second “te” or long-form, episodic settings such as the twenty-two minute “ja'tzkin” or fifteen-minute “synki & bug.” Synki cuts a wide swathe, from bizarre sound experiments (“te” suggests either the processed growl of an animal or the opening of a hollowed-out stone) to more conventional electronic pieces (“sivárvány,” an exercise in glistening placidity, and “coming thru,” which moves from squiggly IDM to twilight ambient before finally taking a loopy stroll down the bird-infested midway). Powered by rhythms rooted in hip-hop and funk, “203 mibajodvan” unspools in a way that wouldn't sound out of place on a typical Merck release, while “igric” might be described as psychedelic sound-sculpting augmented by jazzy cymbal patterning.

The most noteworthy pieces are the longer ones, such as the ten-minute “enable,” which is dominated by a shimmering organ drone in the first half and hot-wired beat squelch in the second. But clearly the most striking piece is the marvelous “ja'tzkin.” A veritable universe of field noises—stone scrapings, hydraulic creaks, geological clatter, swishes—abstracts itself into alien form throughout, with some of it often mutating into swelling loops. One might expect attention to lapse over such a lengthy duration but not in this case. Bereznyei keeps the level of invention high and hypnotic throughout, with the soundscape maintaining its rhythmic momentum despite the incredible variety of sounds that constantly reconfigures it. Halfway through, we find ourselves in the middle of a busy Persian marketplace before encountering the deranged performance of an organist at an outdoor park. More lunacy arrives near the end in the form of an unhinged electronics demonstration accompanied by percussive pops. Auspicious indeed.

December 2007