"Hyperlight" is a very good, well-played series of three pieces composed of repeating synth chords, tape loops, and murmured vocals, and is the first release by the musician Jimmy Billingham's musical project Tidal. Although the music on the cassette isn't conventionally breaking the boundaries that it is composed within—on a wider level, there are not many formal or aesthetic ideas per se from the recordings to set them apart from similar-sounding artists—the strength and the originality of the music comes instead through Billingham's working intelligently within his chosen framework, as well as in his ability to write dark, compelling chord progressions and to set a mood. The timbre of the music itself and the use of musical development is solemn and moving, and reminiscent at times of Francis Seyrig's organ score to "Last Year at Marienbad."
The cassette's A-side, made up of a long piece called "Space Cloud Seed," begins as taped notes are played at varying speeds against very interesting keyboard figures, making up the strongest part of the album's overall design. The piece then progresses into intensely layered, wavering tones. The cassette's B-side, made up of pieces called "Prism" and "Double Death," is not as strong, and its pieces are at first arranged in a quiet, subtle fashion before returning to a harsher, more ominous sound. Although the album does feel in a sense like it loses its focus near its end, it will be interesting to see where Billingham will take his sound, and to hear further recordings from this project. 9/10 -- Jordan Anderson (8 September, 2010)