Buried Traktora / 2007

Abstract electronic / Field recording.

Buried Traktora is a composition inspired by the notion that matter is a conduit enabling consciousness to travel through time.

Reincarnation, shape-shifting and pagan magik are related themes which guided the arrangements.

The album is constructed from field recordings, processed environments, plus various treated electronic and acoustic instruments.

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Review: Landschaft

Overview: Another highly accomplished work from the world of Mark Tamea – a bodacious tetsuo of an album; intelligent, stark electronica with layers of field and found recordings. This is a challenging listen – and that I mean in the positive sense – five listens in and you are able to grapple with it in the full sense. The meanings I derived from the experience are my own and like all good art, will of course be different for each listener. For me this album represents a journey through a space populated by clockwork machines, insects made of metal, ethereal communicating entities. Concept album it is not I hasten to add, but rather, a journey through a landscape. This album achieves a rare success – extremity with meaning. This stream of consciousness review flowed straight from the Landschaft pen – here it is warts and all:

Switched and Behind Orderly digits are one piece – Tamea’s familiar diptych format – one piece evolving into the second. A-rhythmic abstractions progress into form and a haunting viola floats into the dreamscape; exits stage left. This other-place technique is one the Landschaft approves of – walking through an Italian Gormenghast of a walled city, one hears music practice through an open window drifting by on the wind.

Odium: Mash up buffer override and found sounds ground the listener to earth. Rain washes a concrete metropolis, machine swarms enter dialogue. A simple sequence transitions in, in juxtaposition to the harshness technopolis of a backdrop, this simple theme is made the more poignant fading to close.

Legolum (AEF mix): A brooding insect conversation in a purple sunset from a novel by Brian Aldiss. Metallic chatter across a marsh-scape by Tanguy. A booming auto-bittern joins the dialogue. Or a conversation between satellites.

What We Know, Triplicate: Emerging from the metal, a birdsong field recording and esoteric percussion – gongs, triangles move the mood into a more organic space; a rain forest before the nano-machine grey goo arrives and the night of the machines closes in.

Bardo Proviso for CP: Take Kraftwerk’s Radio activity – and shred – do a William Burroughs cut up. Chuck the lot into a primeval soup and give it a good stir. Add a shake of subterranea before the auto-insects swarm in. Is it coincidence this is track 6 – there being six Bardo states, intermediates states between birth and rebirth; a spiritual fork in the road where karmic influences can send you up or down the path to regeneration?

Witch Become Child: Check in at the intercontinental lounge. An ear placed to a wall listening to the footfalls from the underpass, danger lurks in the shadows. A Neil Gaiman other world existing beneath the surface beckons the unwary, hypnotized by a chamber ensemble drifting across the ether; a siren call pulling the victim into the funnel-web. Or realization that engages one’s being in resonance with insight: epiphany. Or beware of false prophets.

Legolium (EQ RA mix): Journey’s end. Clockwork machines hold dialogue in the sump of a someplace Victorian pump works. The last gasp, buried in the mud and grease of ages. A Neo-Gothic resonance from a locked away cellar.

– Alan Walker, Landschaft

Review: e/i Magazine

Mark Tamea’s Buried Traktora is something different again. An unknown quantity to this listener, the studious net-naut can easily turn up salient Tameana, such as that “his recent output exploits atmosphere and juxtaposition to investigate what he imagines are the hidden parallels between the discernible and the esoteric…”. Liner notes reveal that Buried Traktora is “a composition inspired by the notion that matter is a conduit enabling consciousness to travel through time”. The (homepage) trailing of refs to Beuys, Duchamp and Rothko, all artists who challenged boundaries in their time, sends out further pre-listening signals that Tamea is likely to be a tricky conceptual customer.

In fact, from the off “Switched” is upon you with a bristling panorama of sounding objects creating a sonic tableau that would fall under the banner of ‘sound design’, containing few of the elements (melody, harmony, pitched material, rhythm) your folks know as the sound of ‘music’. On “Behold Orderly Digits”, however, things do tend to cohere into a more recogisably musical entity, albeit a queasy mood music of eerie ambiance populated by fleeting digi-effluvia and rattling ghost percussion. On “Odium” buffer override pile-ups and found sounds are slapped together into sound collage. Elsewhere there are incursions of instrument samples, while in other pieces electro-acoustics hold sway.

Overall, Tamea creates some atmospherically charged compositions, which crawl with queasy dream depictions. You might think of something like John Wall and his assembages of fragments and juxtaposed importations. Then think again. A challenging listen, and your meaning-making mileage may vary across its audio-drama scenes. Buried Traktora is, though, likely to mystify the bulk of the AW demographic for all that it signals their new spirit of adventure. Unsettling.

– Alan Lockett, e/i Magazine