- Ricardo Tobar's music has always settled in that heady nexus of gritty noise, shoegaze and ephemeral techno one might call the Border Community Zone, which explains why Holden's label issued his 2007 debut, El Sunset. That release was followed by textural zone-outs for like-minded labels such as Traum and Knopje Musik. Now, six years after El Sunset, the Chilean-born producer finally releases his debut album, Treillis, on London's Desire Records.
Settling in with Treillis, one is instantly struck by the remaining affinity between Tobar's work and that of former Border Community associates like Nathan Fake, Luke Abbott and James Holden. Tobar is keen on that lush, heat-dizzy take on electronic delirium. Made with assorted analogue gear, drum samples taken from old records and the chunky, sputtering bursts of ancient drum machines, Tobar's LP looks back to the coherent electronica full-lengths of the '90s and early '00s. He's said that one record in particular made him want to make this music: Prodigy's 1997 classic, The Fat Of The Land.
The more time you spend exploring this album's kaleidoscopic outposts, the more you sense the maturity and patience behind its assembly. There’s a jig-saw certainty behind its sequencing, the result of months spent deciding where to patch each piece, where to recede in quiet moments and where to accelerate. "Garden," for example, is slow to take to its feet, while the next track ("Hundreds") takes flight immediately, its floor-fit burst of drums corroded by a synth tone that seems to almost moan against this noisy din. "Straight Line In The Water" opens in glassy ambience before a searing blurt of sound, like a guitar drowned in feedback, gives way to drifting synth melodies. "Essen" is a gorgeous mid-album reprieve of bird sounds and cathedral-bent tones.
Sometimes, if rarely, Tobar flirts with the dance floor, most notably on the trancey lead single "If I Love You" and the album closer "Le Quartier de Quatrieme." The latter in particular could have slid in perfectly with the beautiful krauty decay of Holden's last album, The Inheritors. But functionality is far from Tobar's mind here. Treillis is very much a piece to settle in with, and one whose colorful little corners should provide cozy retreats as winter settles over us.
05. Straight Line In The Water
06. Otte's Denial
08. If I Love You
10. Back Home
11. Le Quartier Du Quatrième