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Microtub - Chronic Shift [Bohemian Drips - 2019]

Chronic Shift is the new release from this Tuba trio who create  richly buzzing & at times surprising soothing sound worlds. This two-track album is available as either an LP, or digital download- we’re reviewing the download. The material used to create these tracks was recorded by the trio at a water reservoir- this was captured in binaural audio, then reworked/ arranged by the use of Analogue synths- which of course enhances the whole deeply glowing & buzzing tonalities of the work. I reckon if you had this at the right volume on a stereo, in certain moments of heavy bass sustain, you could literally move things across the room…but that’s not to say it’s all bass bound.
 
The first self-title piece  is the shorter of the two tracks here coming in at just over the eleven-minute mark. It begins with a hovering one-note sustain, this is broken up by pops & microflows of water drips, created by the editing.  Within a few minutes a more tolling ‘n’ chiming tone is added, and this at times brings a warming & golden harmonic drift to the track- though it’s far from easy/plain sailing, as we find sudden more off-key sustains & eerie chimes breaking up what could be a fairly bass bound ambient flow. By around the midway point we’ve moved on to a mixture of deeper- yet kind of heroic tuba tone wails, and tolling almost ritual tones- this is the point where we get some nice deep stretchers of reverberation bass-  these are given a surreal edge by glitching water droplets.
 
Moving to the second track "System Reboot"- and this slides in at the twenty-minute twenty four-second mark. Here we start off with these stretched-out heroic hovering tones- which rather brought to mind some sort of slowed down/ time lagged footage of a regal parade. Fairly soon we get more gentle, higher & harmonic tones darting over the now throbbing purr- but just like the first track things once again become more off-kilter, as the higher tones become more darting/ random in their flow. Of  the two tracks here, this does move more towards deep & hopeful ambience in places, and particularly in its final quarter as we get a joyful blend of rising lows & gentle darting highs…though as we exit we return to more awkward  sonic waters.
 
In all Chronic Shift is a rather pleasing release- with the trio creating a fairly distinctive & original sound. Each track here nicely highlights the different sides of the project's sonic make-up, and I'd be most interested in hearing some more work from in the trio in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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