Wednesday 14 April 2021

Tarwater - Low Frequency (1996-2014)


The Berlin-based electronic duo Tarwater (drummer/vocalist/programmer Ronald Lippok and guitarist/bassist/programmer Bernd Jestram) formed in 1995. They have produced eleven regular studio albums and various collaborations (eg with Piano Magic, Tuxedomoon, B. Fleischmann), as well as numerous film and theater scores. Lippok also plays in the band To Rococo Rot.

Tarwater debuted with 1996's 11/6 12/10, ,Rabbit Moon Revisited (an EP of sorts) and Tarwater's second LP, Silur, followed in 1998. The critical praise attendant on the latter earned Tarwater American distribution, with Animals, Suns & Atoms appearing in 2000 and Dwellers on the Threshold two years later. Along with various collaborations, tour-only EPs, and soundtrack work, the duo produced new proper albums regularly over the next decade, with 2005's The Needle Was Travelling and 2007's Spider Smile both appearing on the Morr label, while 2011's Inside the Ships and its 2014 follow-up Adrift were released by German imprint Bureau B.

I've been a fan of Tarwater since their debut album "11/6 12/10", but have somewhat neglected listening to them the past few years. Again this was a band I never thought about doing an anthology of until very recently. Many music reviewers can be rather critical of Lippok's vocals, one 'review' on Pitchfork described them as "dour, uninflected". That reviewer is a complete idiot. Sure his vocals may be rather deadpan most of the time, but that never did Kraftwerk any harm! For me, I find his vocals rather engaging...

This anthology I found to be one of the quickest to compile. I didn't pick my favourite tracks from each album, once I'd decided on the opening track I focused on what I felt would be the most suitable track to follow and so on. From each of their 8 'regular' albums I have chosen 2 tracks, plus various tracks from singles/EPs and the odd compilation track which never appeared anywhere else, such as their cover version of The Verlaines' "Death and the Maiden". Like most of my anthologies I could easily have picked another half dozen tracks from each album, so if any of your favourites I've neglected to pick I can only apologise!

Info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file. I hope you enjoy this latest collection, and as always stay safe!

  1. Get On (1:44)
  2. Across the Dial (3:18)
  3. Tommy Tomorrow (4:17)
  4. Otomo (2:36)
  5. Kleenex (4:18)
  6. At Low Frequency (3:59)
  7. Sell Me a Coat (3:31)
  8. A Mute E (4:17)
  9. Easy Sermon (3:44)
10. Now (3:12)
11. Tar Babies (3:41)
12. Hush (2:52)
13. Homology Myself (2:33)
14. Second Arthyr (5:01)
15. Death and the Maiden (3:27)
16. Expected (4:19)
17. N'existe Pas (2:26)
18. Glee (3:33)
19. All of the Ants Left Paris (3:51)
20. 20 Miles Up (4:01)
21. In a Day (3:30)
22. The Afterlife of Things (Two Stones) (2:44)
23. Lower Manhatten Pantoum (6:29)
24. Log of the Sloop (3:31)
25. Metal Flakes (2:56)
26. Stone (3:45)

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