Tussle “Tempest” | Smalltown Supersound
San Francisco based Tussle release “Tempest” with help from influential band Liquid Liquid’s Twitch. The album, much like Tussle’s other releases, plays heavily on the idea of “drum and bass” but taking a much different approach, which is what has categorized their sound since their first full length release in 2003. The bass and drums still drive home with this incredible, minimalistic, dubbed out dance that gets you in a sort of translucent dance pattern mimicking rave like scenarios gone a bit more cerebral.
The whole album is smooth (highlight “Moondog”), cohesive, and digestible but still thought provoking. It doesn’t dive into new areas as much as expanding on ideas already used in Tussle’s work. The overdubbing adds this atmospheric, build up while the percussion work plays in the shadows of reverb ping ponging back from the bass. The Bay Area is prominent in their sound as well as the general mood created by the group. “Cat Pirate” plays on the more atmospheric, DJ like attention the album builds on.
The bass straight from a Berlin basement warped with a moog-like sound that creates stellar polyrhythmic patterns for the listener to play with. At the forefront is the signature sound, the bass, the drums, the drive. But the expansion of keys and dubs adds a seemingly second band to Tussle. Acid electronics and well as their modern funk bass lines drive the album through futuristic, floating car cities. This is a definite highlight in Tussle’s career and something not to be missed out on. If you are already familiar with Tussle, then “Tempest” will only be a step up from what they have already established. If you aren’t familiar with “Tussle”, the experience will be refreshing and vibrant with color. A very solid release.