Sunday, August 10, 2008

Traum Ecke - Traum Ecke [Goaty Tapes]

This is an insanely overdue review of one of the best tapes of the year in my humble opinion. The conspirators behind the tape (brought to us by Goaty Tapes, the most bitchin' young label around) are Traum Ecke which is a duo I was unfamiliar with prior to this tape. They also bear some relation to the outfit known as Ducktails which are, as a sampling of their myspace page leads me to believe ("Pizza Time"!!), different but as awesome as Traum Ecke. Perhaps even more so?
If my memory and ears serve me correctly Traum Ecke is a duo comprised of a dude on guitar and a dude on keyboard. The first side is 15 minutes of mesmerizing foggy bliss. These guys have an amazing intuitive touch when it comes to drone. They know exactly when to let a tone linger and when to bring in melodic flourishes. I can't really explain why but this track always gives me the image of watching a light snow turn blustery, but like in the middle of space or some otherworldly realm. It echoes the Gown side from his split tape on Arbor that I was in love with last year in its complex layering and fantastic pacing. The track builds rather stealthily to a crescendo. By the end there is some legit blues-infused guitar shredding floating just below the mist. It feels like a 15 minute joyride around Venus, one worth taking again and again.
And that's only the first side of the tape mind you. On the flip they switch up their style to equally successful effect. The piece has a sweet groove from the get go and is a bit reminiscent of the solo tapes James Ferraro put out way back in 2007, though without the overt weirdness. The keyboard swells around the jaunty guitar riffing clouding it in a haze of reverb. It sounds like there is some sort of looped percussion underneath but it's hard to pick out. The rhythmic bed allows the both guitar and keyboard to get aggressive and let loose a bit. The track builds a la the first side but overall carries more forward thrust and ends with a nice keyboard+delay pedal melody/solo breaking everything up beautifully. These boys have a future.
The presentation of the tape is entirely topnotch just like the music. It features a double-sided pro-printed j-card cut in an interesting shape and an insert. The tape itself is bright yellow (my favorite color) with a sweet fishscale type design printed directly on the tape. Certainly one of the coolest, most professional packaging job of a cassette I've seen, and all Goaty Tapes come this way. Definitely a label to take notice of.
It looks like the tape is still in print from Goaty (along with other awesomely packaged tapes), but there are only a 100 copies in existence so act fast. Actually, it's probably safe for me to say, just buy anything with the words "Traum Ecke" and/or "Goaty Tapes" on it.

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