With each of their releases, experimental electronic duo TENGGER (comprised of itta and Marqido) challenge themselves to explore new structures, textures, and characters while always retaining the imaginative core that defines them as a group. They are admirably adventurous and playful musicians who never stagnate on one sound concept. Their most recent album, TENGGER, is geared towards sinking as deeply as possible into one homogeneous atmosphere rather than building a dynamic dramatic arch.
There is very little harmonic, textural, and rhythmic contrast throughout the album; every moment is derived from a similar palette of sounds. However, if you are willing to surrender yourself fully to the album’s atmosphere and listen patiently, you can experience the way in which subtle nuances float to the surface overtime. It is crucial that you follow TENGGER into the meditative, timeless state they’ve set-up for you in order digest their music fully. That being said, I do think more contrast would help in making the album more engaging; as it is now, the album falls a little short in offering suspense and retaining the freshness of its material.
If you can successfully inhabit TENGGER’s sound world, it’s certainly rewarding. TENGGER offers a sonic representation of the moments leading up to sleep, when gravity seems to loosen its grip and reality and dream blur together. itta plays a huge role in the spirit of the album; she sings with an effortless, watery quality that is accentuated when she climbs to her upper register in tracks such as in “Sora” and “Sum.” Juxtaposed against her are deep synth lines that alternate rapidly between a small collection of notes. Although it would seem that their busy nature would interrupt the placidness of the sound world, they add a lovely buoyancy and help the album float even higher. Suspended above these elements are light, shimmering drones, which swell and recede in accordance to the prominent lines.
TENGGER kindly offers an hypnotic sound world for you to submerge yourself in, and although it may require some effort, it is worth the try to accept their gift and slip into their underwater world.