Tauchsieder: Herd The Shadows EP (Castles In Space)
7″ vinyl (ltd 300)
Stellar lineup create stellar EP.
Can I start making those “best-of-the-year” remarks that everyone else has been making since January now? Well, we’re nearly halfway through the year so I think it should be allowed so here goes … Herd The Shadows is one of the greatest things I’ve heard this year and it’s going to take something special to knock it out of my top-ten-releases-of-the-year list. Why is it so special? Well first you must look at the creators, Tauchsieder. Tauchsieder is the name a unique group of artists have given themselves for this collaboration. Those behind the project are: Stuart McLean (Frenchbloke, The Dark Outside ), Ben Hayes (Soundhog) and Innes Smith (Cnut) and the EP also features vocals and production support by Colin Newman. Each of these artists are, in their own right, well established and have released some great works in the past, but you add them together and you get something quite magical indeed.
Herd The Shadows is only 8+ minutes in length but the amount of artistry and expression that it displays is remarkable indeed.
As a listener of music you need something that connects and ignites the mind and you instantly get that here with the title track that opens the EP. We are thrown into a pool of drone and ambience that washes over you, leaving you looking to the stars from under the waves. Truly uplifting and incredibly beautiful, Herd The Shadows allows light to pierce through the fuzz and distortion so you always have a sense of serenity as the chaos unfurls around you. We also get one of the only uses of vocals on the track which speaks of “morning light” and “daylight freedom” which also helps you gain a sense of universal attachment and connection.
Travelling through to second track, Reverse The Shadows, Tauchsieder decide to up the intensity adding more and more layers of tape hiss and corroding synth making you question the intentions of its authors. Were we mislead into believing that this music to rejoice in? Did they trick us into a state of peacefulness?
We get the answers to this question on the AA side, Moves Left. This is the moment where all is revealed as you realise that we have not been travelling inwards this whole time, we have in fact been travelling through the stratosphere searching for connections from afar. Distorted voices break through every now and then never quite materialising fully, adding to the sense of longing for contact with others. A beat slowly manifests itself and the track rides and pulses creating a truly meditative experience where you the listener are allowed to paint your own picture or create your own narrative. Moves Left then breaks down on itself as white noise and feedback, splutter and snap, before abruptly ending. The connection has broken, we’ve got no signal, our journey is at an end and it’s time to evaluate what we have just experienced.
With Herd The Shadows, Tauchsieder have not only delivered a masterful debut (this is also the debut release on the fledgling Castles In Space label) but they have also delivered, easily, one of the best releases of the year (there I go again).
This music means something. It is 8+ minutes of purity and conquest. An absolute triumph and I honestly cannot wait to hear a full length player by those involved because if they can do something this good in the confines of an EP, a full length album is certain to be something special indeed.
Oh, did I mention that it has only being released on limited edition 7″ “shadow splatter” vinyl as well? No? Well now I have to snap this up SHARP!!