2014 TOP 10s & 20s
Dday One

Poppy Ackroyd
Nicholas Chase
Vicky Chow
Carlos Cipa
Dale Cooper + Witxes
Dday One
Federico Durand
English + Vitiello
Everyday Dust
Eyck and Tarnow
Faded Ranger
Robert Hood
Human Greed
The Invaderz
Thomas Köner
Akira Kosemura
Heiko Laux
Norberto Lobo
Andrew McIntosh
Aina Myrstener Cello
Michael Nyman
One World Symphony
Postma & Osby
David Pritchard
See Through Trio
Dirk Serries
Jakob Skøtt
Miguel Zenón

Hassell and Eno

Air Texture Volume IV
Emerging Organisms 5
Hyperdub 10.4

EPs / Singles
David Ahlen
Blu Mar Ten
Boston feat. Solis
DIFFER-Ent (By DJ Bone)
Gone Beyond
Matthias Grübel
Lami / Ratti
Lubomyr Melnyk
Ryo Murakami
Om Unit
Pursuit Grooves

VA: Emerging Organisms Vol. 5
Tympanik Audio

I'd be willing to bet that if one listened to Tympanik Audio's premiere Emerging Organisms volume and followed it immediately thereafter with this newly released fifth, a marked degree of difference would be evident between them. The label's sound has grown increasingly sophisticated over the years, and little evidence of the raw industrial character of Tympanik Audio's earlier output is present on this latest collection, whose contents are generally characterized by refinement and maturity.

As we've previously noted, the distance separating Tympanik Audio and n5MD has grown smaller over time, and it's something we're reminded of once again when listening to Emerging Organisms vol. 5. Artists such as Ocoeur, Dreissk, and Lights Out Asia who appear on the compilation have released material on n5MD, too, and the emotional electronica tone of the double-CD set also aligns with the n5MD credo.

To describe Emerging Organisms vol. 5 as comprehensive and encompassing is an understatement, to say the least. Thirty new and exclusive pieces appear on a release that presents more than two-and-a-half hours of music. While new artists have been welcomed into the fold, many names will be familiar to electronic-ambient aficionados: Atiq & EnK, Roel Funcken, Blamstrain, Zinovia,, Pleq, Tangent, Dirk Geiger, and Idlefon are among those who've previously appeared on Tympanik Audio or related labels.

The release is earmarked by high-quality electronic productions of dramatic character packed with strings, programmed beats, voice samples, synthesizers, and ambient textures. Some tracks are symphonic in scope and epic in pitch whereas others are gentler ambient-styled settings, and the collection even makes room for a few vocal-based tunes, with The Walton Hoax's “Limitless” an especially strong example. Some pieces are consistent with what might expect from their creators: Roel Funcken's “Chrone,” for instance, is as punchy in its beat-powered attack as any number of Funckarma productions. Though the large number of tracks precludes a track-by-track analysis, certain pieces merit individual mention. Ginormous's “Slugs” stands out for its hard-hitting blend of electro-funk and hip-hop, as does Blossom's “White Deer” for its five swooning minutes of punchy head-nod. One of the release's most arresting pieces is Zinovia's “Blind,” memorable for the way it merges lonely melodica-like phrases and melancholy piano patterns with curdling beats and string washes.

A few tracks trod overly familiar ground, such as Huron's “Survive,” which works a sampling of Morpheus's words from The Matrix into its brooding whirr'n'click—not the first time such a move's been made. But weak moments are few and far between on the release, and most of the thirty pieces present strong arguments on behalf of Tympanik Audio's vision.

December 2014