A slightly overdue thing. Formatting will be done when I get home ^^.
Just a little testament to an amazing album <3
Artist The Tide ("Tide") of the Altered Echo Project (AEP) emerges with an explosive six-track release, Tidal
. It's carefully labelled under the genre "Electronic Listening Music", and it's no wonder to why it bears such a unique genre - the key is in the word "listening". Tidal
houses six reflective, emotion-evoking tracks, that in some way or another, find themselves painting a wonderful soundscape of what the album title connotes - the ocean.
Three seconds into the album, if you didn't go straight to the titular track (spoiler: it's bloody amazing), we are greeted with a bold Fmin9 chord, resolving gracefully to a Cmin chord. We hear this motif looped almost throughout A Dark Blue Sky
, as Artist Tide takes his time to introduce each element into the track, creating a wonderfully stirring atmosphere.
There's a breakdown, and heavy kicks are juxtaposed to a series of stereo-delayed crying noises. This section is so disturbing that it's beautiful, and it should grip your heart in one way or another, and our hearts are stabbed for slightly less than a minute before the keys return and the initial atmosphere returns. Pure beauty.
begins with half a minute of the sounds of water, with more white noise layered above it. We experience a minute of calmness before a distorted, sharp beat punctuates the peace, and a ritualistic chant enters. At this stage, a high-frequency drone also enters, which I personally find really hard to fit into music. Treble-reducing the track dampens the brightness of the beautiful lead synth, which is a pity, really. Oh well, if you look past that, you've got a pulsating, stroll-on-the-ocean-floor feel, which is really, really cool.
This moves on to the divinely noisy City By The Sea
, with relentless, distorted guitars set against resonant (probably around the 800-1000 Hz mark) plucked strings - i.e. the frequency that makes it sound like a harp. Rapid arpeggio are set against the gnashy, distorted guitar motif, finishing off with harp plucks in the high register, making for a chaotic mess of pure sexiness. Makes for the third best track in this album, based on my own opinion.
Priming us for the explosive titular track is When The Sun Returns
, which boasts a perfect mix of guitars and ambient pads, against a solid beat. Oh, and vocals. The thing that sets this track apart from the rest is the vocals. This isn't the only track that makes use of those scratchy, heavily pitch-corrected (for effect, of course) vocals, but it is the first of which the vocals are heard for about half the track. And you can actually decipher the lyrics.
As if the track wasn't chaotic enough, Artist Tide finds space in the mix to skilfully blend these scratchy vocals in, with perfect clarity and maximum noisiness. Did I mention that you can actually decipher the lyrics too? Yep. Definitely deserves a thumbs-up.
Right, it's time.
. It was the sheer originality and creativity of this track that drew me to this album, the amazing mixing skills demonstrated and the amazing sound design that kept me listening to it, and the stormy, bitcrushed bass drums that have kept this in every electronic music playlist I have now. Needless to say, Tidal
Before I get on to anything, I have never seen - heard, rather - a more flawless execution of the snare roll before. Won't spoil anything, but Artist Tide just mixes the snare roll in so darn well in this track.
The track opens with a throbbing saw bass, articulated beautifully with very subtle LFO (destination on cutoff frequency). We hear twenty seconds of this before the first bass drum hit enters, frying our speakers and sending our hearts crashing against the floor. I never got sick of that feeling. That bass drum alone is enough to craft an amazing track out of most things, but Artist Tide doesn't stop there.
Subtle SFX and wobbles in the extreme low end pepper this track with life, and the low end never really dies out. Even at the breakdown, where peaceful ambience greets us for slightly less than a minute, the rumbles in the low end continue. The strings that enter upon the return of the beat are nothing short of divine, and serve as a fitting contrast against the heavy bass.
A resonant filter sweep downwards on a flanged saw ends this track gracefully, leaving us thinking something like, "Okay, definitely coming back for more". If the track wasn't already playing on repeat, we hear the familiar Fmin9 chord again, hinting that this album's done...
Except that it isn't. The Fmin9 chord progresses to a series of chords hovering around Cmin7, and the final track of the album, Ultima Thule
, begins with amazing grandeur. The fact that this track comes after something so explosive sets the bar a little high, but it definitely meets those expectations. "Ultima"
introduces many more melodic ideas than the other tracks, and the sound design, above all, is flawless.
Standing out from all the sounds, though, is a perfectly mixed resonant FM sine lead, introduced around the third minute. The timbre is so darn beautiful, and the bell-like FM lead contrasts perfectly with the underlying guitar melodies that it's jaw-dropping. The bass saws that occur almost throughout serve as a nice backing to the track as well, and once again, the timbre is perfect. "Ultima"
is the epitome of sound design, and is a perfect ending to a wonderful album.
Please download this album.
Heck, if I may make a quick generalisation based on this album and my all-time-favourite I'll Be Famous
, go download every frikking AEP album. Go listen to all those amazing tracks.
In conclusion, Tidal
is powerful and reflective, and definitely warrants your listening ears. And of course, your emotions. You'll dream of the sea in your sleep.