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«Borromean Rings»

The sophomore album of the French-Belgian trio Tandaapushi is obsessed with the concept of emptiness. This electric trio – featuring keyboards plus electronics player Léo Dupleix, bassist-guitarist Laurens Smet and drummer-guitarist Louis Evrard, has developed a disciplined interplay that seeks to empty any sonic idea by primitive, insistent repetition. Tandaapushi believes that this kind of uncompromising and unclassifiable grind of part-drones, part-trance inducing textures will eventually lead to some redemptive light at the end of the repetitive tunnel.

«Borromean Rings» borrows its title from a mathematical concept about three topological rings-circles which are linked and form a Brunnian link, meaning that removing any of the three rings will result in unlinking the other two rings. Tandaapushi improvised interplay follows that mathematical concept. It is tight, orderly and nuanced, almost methodical in its determination to push itself into minimalist, sparse and heavy repetitive patterns and beats, even in its most energetic outbursts. But you can still trace in this interplay fleeting elements of noise, free jazz, electronica and musique concrète, but all drown in Tandaapushi minimalist swamp.

There is a tempting quality in such enigmatic minimalism. Short pieces like the cinematic «Interlude 1» and «Interlude 2» or the longest, atmospheric-psychedelic 16-minutes of «Part 2» with its surprisingly emotional coda suggest an austere, unique, tension-free listening experience.

Eyal Hareuveni

Léo Dupleix (p, el.p, amp. Obj., no input mixing board), Laurens Smet (b, g), Louis Evrard (dr, g, drum machine)

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