Tiger Village – V

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To be released on 10/21/14! Pro-dubbed C43 on chrome-plus tape.
Goldenrod shell with black imprints. 2-Sided 3-Panel J-Card. Download code included

Step into Tiger Village’s laboratory bunker located somewhere near Cleveland and catch a glimpse of the scientist at work. Flanked on all sides by analog synths, MIDI controllers, tape decks, and drum machines, with patch cables splayed out from chassis to chassis like tangled octopi, Tim Thornton pieces together his intricate electronic compositions from the choir of squelching voices bursting from his mechanical arsenal. After jumpstarting his own cassette imprint called Suite 309 this year, Thornton treads deeper into the experimental underground with Tiger Village V, the first volume of his ambitious tape series to be released by an outside label. As one of the legion of tinkerers that define Ohio’s fertile experimental DIY culture, Thornton orbits the noise scene along a path overlapped with Hausu Mountain affiliates like Moth Cock, Witchbeam, and Jeremy Bible, co-defining an independent strain of tonal exploration and mind-warping disfiguration of form. While Thornton’s peers plunge headfirst into an abyss of static-soaked textures and improv abstraction, his own practice presents a nuanced approach to synth arrangement that proves, over the course of Tiger Village V’s forty-three overstuffed minutes, to be just as meticulous as it is mangled.

Thornton’s compositions dart through progressively complex passages animated by iridescent leads and structural feints that shatter our expectations of any logical resolution. Disparate drum patterns layer together into rhythmic organisms that clatter through his busy mixes in a state of constant flux. Fragmented melodies pop into view amid panning drone pads and arpeggios, subsuming quadrants of the spread into dense harmonic clusters possessed of too much detail to fully glean on first playback. Tracks like the booming opener “Alalia” or the woozy “Emilie (Sea)” unfold across manic trajectories far removed from the notions of stasis or recursion, splintering without notice into polyrhythmic beatdowns or swathes of all-consuming square wave drift. Thornton balances these maximal experiments with the garbled tape loops, detuned oscillator yelps, and lulls of infinite sustain aired in the ambient oases of album centerpiece “Pink Chain III (Moon)” and “And I Don’t Really Care That Much.”

Tiger Village V reaches our headspaces at a remarkable level of tonal detail, with each beat and synth voice mastered by Thornton to a standard of fidelity in keeping with his day job as a quality control supervisor at the Gotta Groove vinyl production plant in Cleveland. From its first solitary bleeps to its final labyrinthine manifestation, he constructed the revolving synth mandala of Tiger Village V as a solitary mind laced into the grid, allied with the machines, fused at the knobs.