Encased in rough, screen-printed, gatefold cardboard packaging of murky brown, lie two CD-R?s of hour-long compositions from synth duo Tathagatta. Band members include, Sam Cusumano (keyboards and circuit-bent children?s toys), Norman Fetter (synthesisers and hand percussion), and a little help from Erich Breimhurst (additional synths and bamboo flute). The two discs condense material from an incredible 10hr performance recorded at the Sweet 69 Music Marathon held at Chronic Town at State College, PA in December 2007. The performance lasted through the night, till the following morning sending the audience to sleep and waking them with the rising sun.
Now I have covered the background I?ll enlighten you to what it sounds like. Immediate similarities to Harmonium, Faust and early Tangerine Dream spring to mind as synth and circuitry loop and drone, with twinkling electricity. Disc one ?DNA? begins with pulsating undulations of ascend/descend melodies that loop infinitum, only to be let loose and replaced by a series of wavering drones. After 20minutes percussion and bells clang and rumble with bongo rhythms, which reverb, sounding something like Santana meets Studio One dub. Bubbling electronics and damped sound forge hypnotic noises, which veer away from a seemingly ugly proposition creating a new age primal trance. After 40minutes the volume increases for a Terry Riley styled minimal electronic pulsation. Mirages of melodies are dissolved in reverb and white noise. Finally proceedings draw to a close with a noisy sequence of twisted electronics. Disc Two ?RNA? continues in much the same way drawing on many of the same sounds. The elongated drones reminded me of Mirror?s incredible ?Island? LP. A very hypnotic side with some of the greatest live synth resonance put to CD-R this year.
Comprising of members from Niagara Falls and Golden Ball this is a definite union of creative kinship. The overall experience wont uncover any ground that hasn?t yet been trodden, neither does it evoke the often spine-tingling sounds of synth-drone genius? (e.g. Andrew Chalk), yet it is a journey well worth treading and a high recommendation for all into meditative music. 7/10 -- Peter Taylor (17 September, 2008)