21 June 2021 (released)
30 November 2021
Regardless of who you are, walking around operating this bizarre meat suit trying to comprehend the vastness of space and time while navigating through love, hate, fear, connection, life, and death...is a surreal experience. It's a complex sensation to articulate. The great trip-hop bands of the last three decades have done that. Paired spaced-out atmospheres with cool but inquisitive beats and nestled the gamut of human emotion into a poet's aching voice. It's a reflective art form but not simply in the sense of a miss that person or place, or fuck that person or place. It asks deeper questions of the world. The form is made to be married to visual art. The odd pace, angles, colours, and scenes reflect the music's cock-eyed observations.
Montreal-based duo the Tanuki Project take the essence of the Bristol sound and reimagine it with modern production and a warm, meditative aura. Their latest EP is the first in a series of vignettes titled Adamant_#CHAPTER01. Presented as a self-described A/V cinematic electronic tale, the group expresses the evolution of civilization from wild hunter-gatherers through to our current digital disconnection and attempts to reconnect to that pure, primal way of life that sustained us for thousands of years.
A skip and jump beat and slinky spine synths open the record recalling the vibe of Thom Yorke's solo endeavours. Vocalist Nady delivers with a resigned melancholy as she whispers the title “Dystopia” over producer Legyl's Mellotron string-centred backing. The single 'Slow' features Nady as an angelic, guiding figure. Like Bjork's early trip-hop if she were more low key and French. A heartbeat kick holds together the flowing strings and percolating electronics. The accompanying video is the perfect melding of interpersonal connection with the incomprehensible spaces between us. Muted blue-green long shots of wide desert plains are juxtaposed with high def images of a woman finding her place in different relationships. At once philosophical and a simple story of connection. Like all the best trip-hop.
'Stone' rides a smooth confidence over inviting chords and a laid back beat. In the territory of Lorde without bowing to the hard head winds of commercial radio. Maintaining that counter-culture cool. The closer 'Hope' hits the hardest. Legyl rolls on a lazy, bloated sub and mischievous hi-hats. The synth strings darken as Nady delves into more carnal subjects of insatiable desire and overconsumption. She ends with a call to break the cycle, her voice echoing into the ether.
Adamant is an intriguing beginning to the tale of our wayward trajectory and the hope for a societal rebirth. Nady and Legyl are a hand in glove duo of conceptual vision and sensory exploration. His mix of the wistful Mellotron with the inevitable feeling of progress brought on by modern drum programming is the perfect score to Nady's gorgeous narration of our crazy human experience.