Tropic of Coldness " Framed Waves "


The album (out July 16), the duo’s third, begins with a slow-growing drone and a quiet, distant ring. Imagining a ‘tropic of coldness’ is like observing the overly exaggerated shifts in our own nature, and that which surrounds us. It is a dichotomy that is delivered in sheer, silken ambient tones over five tracks here. The opener Distilled conversations whets our palette with a floating, meditative melody and drifts into The pride of our sails, which retains the same atmosphere, only adding the creaking effect as if at sea. It’s a few shades darker and slightly foreboding, however there is still a mystical quieting rhythm on deck. David and Giovanni, the duo behind the mixer, met in Brussels – perhaps by chance in 2011, both multi-instrumentalists. Between them they bring guitars, synths, voice and samplers to the table.Two and a half stones is next up. The shy timbre of multi-layers emits in hushed tones. The sound level builds some, and the first appearance of guitar strings rises from the dusky textured scene with rising and falling pulsations. It’s feels strangely like an old Western, set on another inhabited planet. It’s a bit desolate and frameless, drifting off into the ether. They rested then blossomed opens with a finite jangle, like the glassy surface of a lake at dawn. Glints of light, becoming slightly distorted in a shallow top layer of wavy drone, and another just out of reach. The field recordings used here are far from their origin story, having been synthesized and effectively becoming recycled, reused, renewed. The moodiness has some in common with Stars of the Lid, though the slow wailing strings recall only blurred memories. The record concludes with the title track, loaded with a sense of buoyancy. Set within a bodacious backdrop, of nature, with only the small folding actions that appear overlain the lilting, airy habitat. These sweeping synths are non-textured, so smooth, and yet herein lurks an arc that infers an uncertain mystique..TONESHIFT by TJ Norris
El sello italiano de música ambient y electrónica experimental Glacial Movements ha anunciado el próximo lanzamiento de Framed Waves, el nuevo álbum de Tropic Of Coldness, proyecto creado en 2011 por David y Giovanni. El primero de ellos, David, es norteamericano, toca la guitarra y también es productor electrónico bajo el alias Drawing Virtual Gardens con el que graba desde su estudio en Bruselas. El italiano Giovanni fue miembro de la banda del noreste de Italia Fuji Apple Worship, un proyecto en el que mezclaban drones, grabaciones de campo y sonidos minimalistas. Desde su fundación en noviembre de 2011, Tropic of Coldness se ha centrado en la música improvisada a medio camino entre la música drone, el ambient y la electroacústica usando capas procesadas de guitarras y sintetizadores, rodeadas y filtradas por grabaciones de campo. Hasta la fecha cuentan con cuatro lanzamientos que han visto la luz a través de diferentes sellos, el último de ellos un disco de seis temas titulado Déplacés que fue lanzado en 2017 por Shimmering Moods.El 16 de julio se estrenarán en Glacial Movements con Framed Waves, un trabajo de cinco temas que sigue la línea del proyecto. Puedes reservar tu copia y escuchar uno de los temas ya en Bandcamp...CLUBBING SPAIN
There’s a race to zero entropy in the electronic chill sound. Each collection across my player offers less and less. Sound is stripped to nothing, leaving only a minimalist ghost of rock and roll or jazz to cast shadows on the vapor of an extinguished cloud of cigarette smoke. These sounds come from the duo “David and Giovanni. ” They’ve lost their surnames. The music lost its words leaving only the effort to think quiet thoughts. “Pride of Our Sails” slowly filters through electronic drones; the sound of wood creaking in the quiet swell appears shyly under slow waves lapping at your player. A barely noticeable segue leads to “Two and Half Stones”. Now the ocean is gone, or at least far above, and the sounds of continents slowly shifting millimeter by slow millimeter now dominates… then fades. Now it’s a repetitive horn vibrating like a European police siren in a that far, far distance. The sound promises civil unrest or criminal activity which only will appear on a back page of a paper no one reads anymore. A guitar string is touched, a small sound timidly runs and hides. You are here to listen to the silences; the sounds are only bookends. You become calm, and the pace asymptotically slows, approaches zero. You are now locked in Carbonite and left to age like a fine Stilton cheese. This is chiller than chill, colder than cool....INK 19
Italian-American duo Tropic Of Coldness release their latest drone opus via Glacial Movements (bvdub & Loscil, Scanner). It’s a fittingly-named label for an LP such as Framed Waves. This is an album of slow beauty built on sonic microshifts rather than abrupt changes. Hums, whirrs and groans drift over one another across these five lengthy entries, with the occasional spool of electric guitar added for extra poignancy.NORMANN RECORDS
Non poteva che spostarsi fino a latitudini polari, il “tropico del freddo” che già da quattro album ospita un duo italo-americano di stanza a Bruxelles. Fuori di metafora, è pressoché naturale che il progetto Tropic Of Coldness giunga a infoltire la già vasta schiera di artisti che hanno destinato un album di ambience (più o meno) ghiacciata alla serie dell’etichetta romana Glacial Movements. Giovanni e David lo fanno a modo loro, con un lavoro costellato da pazienti riverberi e stratificate coltri di chitarra e synth che, in coerenza con l’immagine del titolo “Framed Waves”, avanza attraverso oscillazioni modulate e tremule particelle di una materia sonora che dallo stato solido del ghiaccio transita verso quello liquido di un’ambience di impalpabile mutevolezza. Benché nel corso dei cinque brani che vi danno luogo, non mancano di affacciarsi frequenze alte (“The Pride Of Our Sails”) e claustrofobici accenni di un inverno artico (“They Rested, Then Blossomed”), la densità del suono prodotto dal duo è piuttosto rivolta a una pullulante luminosità estiva, che non manca neppure di trasformare in tepore fioco ma accogliente i riverberi che popolano “Two And A Half Stones”. Allo stesso modo, le modulate screziature che aprono e chiudono il lavoro paiono descrivere una sorta di ciclo stagionale, nel quale ricerca sonora e orizzonti cinematici convivono in un onde emotive apprezzabili a qualunque latitudine geografica.MUSIC WON'T SAVE YOU
It was after a chance meeting in Brussels, Belgium, during November, 2011, between American guitarist, synth and sample player David Gutman, and Italian vocalist, guitarist and fellow ‘sample player’ Giovanni, that led to them forming Tropic Of Coldness. Since then, Tropic Of Coldness have released one EP and four genre-melting albums where they combine elements of ambient, avant-garde, drone, electroacoustic, experimental and musique concrète. This includes Framed Waves which has just been released on Glacial Movements and is a cinematic album that is rich in imagery. It shows how far Tropic Of Coldness have come since they began their musical journey just under seven years ago. When David Gutman and Giovanni first met in November, 2011, the two musicians were already involved with bands. David Gutman was the guitarist, synth and sample player with the electro-experimental project Drawing Virtual Gardens who were familiar faces on the Brussels music scene. Meanwhile, Giovanni was also a member of Fuji Apple Worship, who were based in North-East Italy. Giovanni was the band’s vocalist, guitarist and sample player, and had much in common with David Gutman. In many ways, it was a meeting of musical minds and David Gutman and Giovanni decided to form a new band which they called Tropic Of Coldness. This more than hinted at the type of ambient music that they were about to release. By March 2012, Tropic Of Coldness were ready to self-release their debut EP Commuting as a digital download. It was well received, and was later released as a CDR by the Cathedral Transmissions label. This it was hoped would allow a wider audience to hear Tropic Of Coldness’ debut EP Commuting and worked. When 2012 drew to a close, Commuting was included on a couple of the best of 2012 end of year lists. Buoyed by the response to Commuting, Tropic Of Coldness were already preparing to release their debut album Unrelated Causalities in February 2013. It was self-released as a digital download and a limited edition of 100 CDRs. Just like Commuting, Unrelated Causalities found Tropic Of Coldness sculpting soundscapes which were a fusion of ambient, dark ambient and drone music. Unrelated Causalities was well received by critics and Tropic Of Coldness would soon complete their next album. This was Demography Of Data which Tropic Of Coldness began recording in March 2013. It took fourteen months to record just six soundscapes which were completed in May 2014. Six months later, Demography Of Data was released on the ‘26th’ of November 2014 by Organic Industries as a digital download. Demography Of Data was a mixture of ambient, avant-garde, dark ambient and drone and experimental. This was the most ambitious and accomplished album of Tropic Of Coldness’ short career. After the release of Demography Of Data, nothing was heard of Tropic Of Coldness for nearly three years. Meanwhile, David Gutman and Giovanni were working on their own projects. The busiest member of Tropic Of Coldness was David Gutman. He hadn’t released any new music as Drawing Virtual Gardens since their 2012 EP Notes Before Travelling. In 2015, he started to make up for the lack of music from Drawing Virtual Gardens during the last three years. The albums Six Weeks Were Too Long Too Wait and The Osmotic Memory of JJ Bhagee were released in 2015, with Charcoals and Heartbeats Of A Premature Image following in 2016. David Gutman had just enjoyed the most creative period of his career. By then, Tropic Of Coldness had returned to the studio and had recorded and mixed their new album Déplacés between May and December 2016. However, it was another year before Déplacés was released as a digital download by Shimmering Moods Records, in December 2017. It was well received by critics and found Tropic Of Coldness combining ambient and drones on what was their third album in just six years. What many people didn’t know was that Tropic Of Coldness had already recorded the five tracks that would become their fourth album Framed Waves. The five tracks Distilled Conversation, The Pride Of Our Sails, Two and A Half Stones, They Rested, Then Blossomed and Framed Waves had been composed and sculpted by the two members of Tropic Of Coldness in Brussels, Belgium, between September 2015 and February 2016. American guitarist synth and sample player David Gutman, and Italian vocalist, guitarist and fellow sample player Giovanni entered the studio where they began work on Framed Waves. The pair also deployed a myriad of samples, field recordings and drones as they sculpted five new glacial soundscapes that were cinematic and rich in imagery. Distilled Conversation opens Framed Waves, and meanders and floats along gradually revealing its hidden secrets. It’s a minimalist soundscape where the meditative and melodic music ebbs and flows. Meanwhile, the two members of Tropic Of Coldness seamlessly combine elements of ambient, avant-garde drone and electroacoustic music as synths sweep, a guitar cheeps and later, shimmering glistening sounds emerge. They play their part in a beautiful, dreamy soundscape that is meditative and melodic and is a tantalising taste of what’s ahead. This includes The Pride Of Our Sails which is very different from the previous track. Gone is the understated soundscape, which is replaced by a dramatic and cinematic soundscape. It ebbs and flows, veering between ethereal and elegiac against the dramatic cinematic backdrop. Sometimes, the soundscape becomes eerie as creaks and squeaks and otherworldly sounds add to the drama as. Later, the soundscape becomes understated, but the drama remains during this eight-minute epic that is rich in imagery. Mesmeric describes the introduction to Two and A Half Stones as this ambient soundscape seems reluctant to reveal its cinematic secrets. Soon, sounds assail the listener and paint pictures in the mind’s eye. Tropic Of Coldness deploy washes of synths and a dark, dramatic and droning gothic strings. Adding a contrast is a chirping guitar and haunting,celestial and ethereal sounds. They’re part of what sounds like the soundtrack to a short film, as it ebbs and flows revealing its secrets, drama and darkness. Contrasts abound during this genre-melting, multilayered soundscape. Much later, and with less than a minute of this eleven-minute soundscape remaining, it becomes minimalist, filmic and ruminative as it encourages reflection. They Rested, Then Blossomed has a shimmering, minimalist arrangement as it meanders along. Soon, ethereal and celestial sounds are added and add a degree of drama that builds. Still, the main part of the arrangement shimmers and once again, contrasts abound. Especially as the drama grows and processed guitars are added to the multilayered arrangement. By then, it’s a fusion of ambient, avant-garde, dark ambient and experimental music. Soon, it’s all change as the soundscape becomes understated although it continues to quiver and shiver. After that, it’s just synths, drones and a chirping guitar that are combined to sculpt the soundscape It murmurs and drones then takes on a thoughtful sound before dissipating into the ether, leaving just a memory this captivating soundscape. The title-track closes Framed Waves, buzzing, droning and whining as this dramatic, cinematic soundscape quickly takes shape. Just like Two and A Half Stones, it sounds as if it’s part of the soundtrack to a short film. Tropic Of Coldness create a degree of tension, but as the soundscape glistens and shimmers, guitar chirp and synth strings sweep. Soon, the music veers between dark and dramatic to slow, understated and spacious. Samples and field recording are used to spring surprises, before an organ adds to the drama. It’s best described as gothic and liturgical as the soundscape lumbers almost menacingly along. Filmic is the best word to describe the soundscape before layers of synths band processed guitars are added to the mix. The guitar reverberates while the arrangement drones and meanders along, before this ambitious, filmic soundscape dissipates after twelve minutes. After making music for the best part of seven years, Tropic Of Coldness have released what is the finest album of their career, Framed Waves, on Glacial Movements. Framed Waves marks the coming of age of Tropic Of Coldness as they reach new musical heights with genre-melting cinematic album. The two members of Tropic Of Coldness spent five months recording Framed Waves, where they combine elements of ambient, avant-garde, drone, electroacoustic, experimental and musique concrète during five soundscapes. They’re variously beautiful and dreamy or meditative and melodic and minimalist and sometimes dark. dramatic and eerie. Other times, the music is thoughtful and ruminative and encourages reflection. However, mostly, the sounds aces on Framed Waves are cinematic and rich in imagery as Tropic Of Coldness paint pictures with their unique brand of music on what’s a career-defining album.DEREK MUSIC BLOG
Nawet latem jest tu zimno. Chłodem wieje zawsze od strony albumów wydawanych przez Glacial Movement. Tak samo jest z najnowszym krążkiem wypuszczonym przez włoski label. Tym razem padła kolej na duet Tropic of Coldness. W skład wchodzą David Gutman (gitara, synthy i sample) oraz Giovanni (głos, gitara i sample). Skoro więc mamy dwóch gitarzystów na pokładzie to nikogo nie powinno dziwić, że „Framed Waves” na gitarze stoi, ale nie tylko. To bogato zaaranżowana muzyka, mieszcząca w sobie drony, filmowy rozmach czy nagrania terenowe. Zwolennicy nagłych zmian i większej dynamiki poczują się rozczarowani. Resztę zapraszam dalej. Pierwszy w kolejce „Distilled conversation” rozpoczyna powolna dronowa tonacja. Gitary tworzą przelewającą się z jednej na drugą stronę scenerię. Wszystko zostało nagrane w stanie płynnym. Musi być ambient, bo to znak firmowy wytwórni, ale miło jest kiedy za każdym razem jest to jakaś inna jego forma. Zaokrąglenia słychać w „Two and a half Stones”. Zapętlenia rozlegające się w tle są przeszywane gitarą akustyczną. Wszystko oblepione delikatnym szumem. Nieszczególnie ożywcza to chwila, trwająca jedenaście minut, ale za to znakomite źródło do medytacji.Ostrzejsze akordy gitary, ale i przetworzone głosy podbite echem to już domena „The pride of our sails”. Czarujące nuty, rozwleczone do prawie ośmiu minut. Słychać tytułowe żagle w postaci dosłownej. Morskie powietrze przeszywa głośniki, a skrzypnięcia drewna czy szurnięcia lin oddają marynistyczną atmosferę jak również dodają dramatyzmu. Bogata wyobraźnia duetu sprawia wyposażona została również w filmowy rozmach, co sprawia, że ten utwór urasta do formy niemalże epopei. „They rested, then blossomed” ma bardziej niewyraźną formę. Coś takiego wzmaga doznania. Sprawia, że muzyka staje się odleglejsza. Można by rzec, że mniej ludzka. Aczkolwiek duet urozmaica swoja kompozycję, przełamując ją przed końcem dając bardziej przejrzyste wykończenie. Koniec ma w sobie dudnienie, buczenie i jęki. „Framed waves”, bo o nim mowa, nagrany jest w zimnej tonacji. Powolność z dodatkami ludzkich odgłosów: tarcia, przesuwania, oddychania. Podobają mi się akcenty gitarowe ciekawie porozstawiane po całości. Pięć miesięcy nagrań dało w efekcie album łączący w sobie awangardowość dronów, delikatność ambientu i płynną, elektroakustyczną muzykę..NOWAMUZYKA.PL
Glacial Movements have one of the most perfect record label names and so far those releases that have arrived here have lived up to the name. Tropic Of Coldness is a duo based in Brussels that work primarily in a soft focus haze of washes and drones, using mainly guitars and synths to produce gentle, drifting soundscapes. These lull in the way that the ebb and flow of a tide and a warm sun seen through barely open eyes can lull. The feel is gently meditative on opener “Distilled Conversation” and very slow moving. It feels as though the auto focus on a camera is not working properly and each time an image becomes clear, it explodes into diffuse patterns of pale, bright light. The guitar notes hover like dust in the images, but as the track progresses a more synthy tone throws just a little shade over the proceedings, allowing just a touch of clarity.This glacial sense of movement carries on into “The Pride Of Our Sails”, which seems just a little darker but still blurry and distant, the sense of an abandoned spaceship moving in orbit. A subtle creak grounds the sound just enough and there is a faint rhythm to the track, but with absolutely acres of space to fill. All is suffused with light and at times is barely present, the slightest glimmer of sound just about keeping the ship in focus. When sound starts to overwhelm the track, you could almost imagine this floating debris burning up as it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere in a flaming spiral.There is a gorgeous three-way between cello, guitar and feedback on “Two And A Half Stones”, the whole thing evoking some late night white sand paradise. There is solitude here, not loneliness — which generally means some sort of disharmony — but the joy or magic that being alone can bring. Adrift on a raft perhaps, the three sublime elements of the track passing one another with such subtlety and understanding it is a delight, weaving around your head like seabirds on rising thermals. I have to say that David and Giovanni, the two protagonists here, have a deftness of touch that makes this such album so easy to listen to, the warmth and fluidity seeping into your soul. Final track “Framed Waves” lasts for about twelve minutes, and I can only say it is as if they were soundtracking, in the slowest way possible, something dropping to the bottom of the ocean. It could be a body, it could be something else precious, but we are watching from the bright skies above as the darkness gradually subsumes it. Everything is slow and diffuse and somehow romantically hopeless. Scuds of echoed guitar resound as if the thing is being buffeted by passing rays or other fish, but eventually all this ends and silence reigns again...FREQ MAG
Het in 2011 opgerichte Tropic Of Coldness is het in Brussel woonachtige Amerikaans-Italiaanse duo, bestaande uit David Gutman (gitaar, samples, synthesizers), tevens van Drawing Virtual Gardens, plus Giovanni zonder achternaam (veldopnames, drones, gitaar, samples, zang), die al eerder actief is in Fuji Apple Worship. Na twee full-length releases, één cd-r/digitaal en één digitale, zijn ze nu terug met de cd Framed Waves op het innovatieve en ijzige Glacial Movements. In 42 minuten brengen ze hier 5 tracks, die behoorlijk tot de verbeelding weten te spreken. Ze houden hier het fraaie midden tussen drones, isolationistische ambient, veldopnames, minimale postrock en allerhande experimenten. Daarmee weten ze een filmische en pakkend totaalplaatje van te maken dat ergens landt tussen White Winged Moth, Labradford, øjeRum, Giulio Aldinucci, Robin Guthrie, Dag Rosenqvist en Visionary Hours. Een heerlijk onderkoeld geheel dat je een warm hart toedraagt..SUBJECTIVISTEN
Un lento piano sequenza che rivela i tratti incerti di un algido territorio silente immerso in un oceano di inattesa luce. Ha il sapore dell’ineluttabile l’incontro tra Tropic of Coldness e Galcial Movements in considerazione della comune rotta indicata dalle rispettive denominazioni, un senso di corrispondenza esatta che emerge prepotente dall’itinerario in cinque movimenti che ne sancisce l’avvenuto incrocio. È una fissità soltanto apparente quella descritta da David e Giovanni, una stasi che in realtà cela un vitalità crepitante che evolve senza sosta. Scivolando su sature sospensioni che si dilatano seguendo le movenze di una quieta risacca, cristalline risonanze armoniche si sviluppano sinuose definendo paesaggi accomunati da un imperante senso di infinito. Un afflato indissolubile che si mantiene inalterato tra le differenti declinazioni atmosferiche incastrate tra le derive meditative di “Distilled conversation” e “Framed waves” che delimitano una scia sensoriale rarefatta eppure mai scevra di frammenti di concretezza. Un’esplorazione emozionale intensa attraverso vivide visioni modulati da un chiaroscuro in graduale e costante mutazione....SO WHAT MUSICA
UNI MAG 09/2018
Ein Label, dessen Spezialität ramonesker Pop-Punk ist, wird genau dafür geschätzt und niemand, der diese Musik mag, würde diesem deshalb Eintönigkeit vorwerfen, nach dem Motto „Klingt doch alles gleich“. Ähnlich verhält es sich mit dem in Italien ansässigen Glacial Movements-Label, dessen Spezialität flächige, atmosphärische Aufnahmen sind, zwischen Soundscapes, Industrial-Drones und echten/empfundenen Fieldrecordings. Instrumentale Klänge wie ein Soundtrack zu Naturdo kus mit langsamen Kameraschwenks und vielen Totalen, ohne Detailzooms. „Framed Waves“ von TROPIC OF COLDNESS macht da keine Ausnahme, es ist ein bisweilen etwas newagehaftes Klangerlebnis, nur eben ohne Eso-Kitsch. Yoga-Musik für Menschen, die bei konventioneller Yoga-Mucke Brechreiz bekommen und sich dann aufregen statt zu entspannen. Hiermit klappt es aber mit dem Flow, dem Runterkommen.OX-MAG#140
Background/Info: We here welcome the third full length album by the Italian-American formation Tropic Of Coldness. They’re operating from Brussels (Belgium) and are now active since 2011. Content: “Framed Waves” mixes guitar, electronics and field recordings. The work has something very evasive, which totally matches with the taste of the label, but it first of all appears to be a great fusion between electro-experimental treatments and guitar playing. It sometimes creates a ballad-like effect while other passages are more abstract. I also noticed a darker part, which sounds like an icy wind hanging over the production. + + + : I like some of the tracks for their reverie and strong visual appeal. “The Pride Of Our Sails” is a noticeable song illustrating this cold-reverie style. And this darkness has something prosper, which I appreciate as well. – – – : The album features 5 cuts. There’s just one single piece (cf. “They rested, Then Blossomed”), which can’t fully convince me for being less elaborated and remaining a bit unachieved. Conclusion: “Framed Waves” is a well-crafted and accessible experimental composition. Best songs: “The Pride Of Our Sails”, “Two And A Half Stones”..SIDE LINE
Perhaps more known to the Belgian experimental music scene, this duo from Bruxelles deserves unrestricted attention from the drone-ambient public. The album is released by the Italian label Glacial Movements. Somewhere between Nadja and Troum, Tropic Of Coldness prefers rather warm sceneries, treating the field recordings with feather touching and pinching chords like haunted by the fear they might disintegrate. These five tracks gathered on their 2018 album called “Framed Waves” will appeal to all of us with a taste for melopee, a voice for the tiredness and disconsolation raised at the sound of existence. Every note is cherished in a maternal manner, almost cuddled and then released to meet the next one, and these intervals between the notes anticipate a silence as the result of some profound acceptance of the futility of all there is. “Framed Waves” could be seen as the lighter side of the “Black Earth” album by Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, an extension of darkness into deeply vague and yet visible territories, the desert cheating the sterility of existence through the appearance of fata morgana. Composed following the style of a poetic evocation, their melodies bear similarities to the prose poems celebrated in the French written literature. In fact, a Belgian author, Georges Rodenbach, wrote the first novel illustrated with photos, Bruges-la-Morte, if read, this book is very much alike to the black-and-white, dreaming and evanescent nature of the record. Idiosyncracy or not, the musicians had their share, always different, hard to categorize, to the symbolist-surrealist movement, Tropic Of Coldness can be approached under this angle to integrate at least some of the deepness of their estrangement..SANTA SANGRE MAG