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EUROPE ON HORSEBACK
Artist
Tennis
ReleaseProduct
EUROPE ON HORSEBACK
Label
Bip Hop
Catalogue Number
BLEEP03
Release Date
January 2009
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On their own, each would fall loosely under the IDM umbrella. But as Tennis, the two veer towards clicks n' cuts style, running their rythmic electro acoustic sounds through heavy processing software. Europe On Horseback, their second album (for BiP_Hop), sees them pumping out moody, crackling, throbby avant-techno a la German labels Mille Plateaux or ~Scape. Trend followers? Maybe. But Benford and Edwards wear glitch well, rivalling artists like Vladislav Delay (or even the Basic Channel posse) with brooding repetition and dubby accessibility. Well crafted, if not entirely fresh and original. Tennis is listed as "Benge vs. si-cut.db." Through a combination of choppy, cut, paste and echo dynamics, sounding at times like smoothed out glitchtronics, the duo mutilate the sounds into stuttering rhythms, dubscape perversions drawn from the circuitry byways and corrosive electronic mis-connections. The hiccuping glitch intro to "Civic Halo" is swiftly molded into a slashing dub rhythm born of machines rather than ganja. Ricochet percussion rationed out in inconsistent intervals and rusted bass textures rain from the synth clouds of "Weakness Together," growing quite distorted and frazzled at times. The bubbling electronic percussion of "Port Helix" is steered by a slithery bassline into sonic territory somewhat reminiscent of what Scorn would utilize. The only difference is a more overtly reggae undercurrent (beneath the electronic percussion), the bassline not distancing itself from the thematic source. "Europe On Horseback" is another intriguing example of how the electronically dominated post rock machinery is molded into songs (as opposed to an exhibition of quirky sounds), a fusion that foresees an electronically vital future in sound manipulation with purpose! Which is the key impetus behind the existence of the Bip-Hop label in the first place.

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