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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TOBIAS REBER: Kola (2013)

Updated: May 9, 2020

“Built upon a bed of an atypical percussions pattern, Kola is difficult to tame for sure and is as fluid as a water oxygenated by million sonic bubbles”

1 Pinata 6:13

2 Polyglot 5:24

3 Omara 4:31

4 Maniok 7:32

5 Habitat 7:36

6 Petroleum 5:41

7 Diaspora 10:07

(DDL 47:08) (V.F.)

(Experimental tribal EM)

The rhythm is brisk and nervous. Fed of an alloy of percussions with varied tones and jerky breaths a bit fluty, Pinata bursts between our ears like some overheated pop-corn in a microwave. These percussions have the fever of a fascinating tribal dance with a suite of quick movements which dance like gurus in trance with a bass line and its organic snores. Welcome to the surprising world of percussions' eclectic tones of KOLA. You remember the dishevelled rhythms Centrozoon's last album, Boner? Well, Tobias Reber was part of it.

Except for the structures of rhythms built on a range of percussions with tones as much ill-assorted as shining, his new album has nothing in common with Boner...well, set apart Pinata. Even if Tobias Reber brings in it his arsenal of electronic programming which has made the sonic oddness of Boner, this album breathes of a strange quietude in troubled waters. Here, everything is subject to interpretation. Because this last Tobias Reber's solo album is lulled by rhythms with figures as much abstract as the melodies can be evasive. Indomitable rhythms which sparkle and burst in a wild an amazing fauna of percussions of which the diverse heterogeneous tones bicker on a background music which seems to have been extracted out of the labyrinths of an unexplored jungle. If Pinata offers mostly a structure of unbridled rhythm, the rest of KOLA lies on rather ambient rhythms with percussions which sparkle in all directions, such as bottles which collide in a quite small pond of water seized with opposite halieutic currents. It's the waltz of knockings on a sonic background where the improvisation of the harmonies fits very well with their uncertainties, like in Polyglot and Diaspora where the multiple and gluttonous knock of xylophone wriggle such as an iguana on ardent shards. We would believe to hear the rhythmic skeleton, including the bass, of King Crimson which looks for his suit. It's rather special and quite unique. We have the impression that there is a form of life which gurgles all along these evasive and organic rhythms which jump like balls with triangular outlines. The portion of guitar, in particular on Omara and on the heavy but fleeing Petroleum, sounds like Markus Reuter and roots the perception to hear King Crimson at the very experimental state. Anti-music? We are not really far from this. Rich in percussions stuffed with eclectic tones and with bass chords with organic pulsations, KOLA is swarming of an atypical rhythmic universe. Let's take Maniok and Habitat where the rhythms stay of ambiences with percussions which beat an unreal measure beneath the multiple anemic shouts of bat.

In short, this last album of Tobias Reber is a sonic experience for ears gourmand of a musical extravaganza where the borders always remain to define. This is rhythm without skin, or almost. Skeletons of rhythms where the bones of glasses sing more than the harmonies enchant. An album difficult to tame but not deprived of interest that will please undoubtedly to fans where the chaos of Art Zoyd and/or Univers Zero is as fluid as a water oxygenated by million sonic bubbles.

Sylvain Lupari (January 20th, 2013) ***½**

Available at Tobias Reber Bandcamp

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