Adelaide based electronic artist Tim Koch is a pretty restless artist, never quite settling for one approach. Over the course of five full length albums you never quite know what you’re going to get and this is quite refreshing.
It’s safe to say though that Scordatura is the last thing that I was expecting. First of all its epic, clocking in at 103 minutes. Secondly, perhaps due to its scope it’s really hard to get a handle on. At times it sounds like a Mego release from the early 2000s at others it sounds like Triosk, or The Necks being remixed by one of the aforementioned Mego guys. It’s confounding, elusive and quite intoxicating. It’s the kind of album that you put on, let it wash through you and when it finishes you just lean over and press play, and it sounds new again. Every time you listen you find something new in it, whether it’s the warm melodic synthesis, the repetitive motifs, the textures and the processing, or the feeling that you have no idea what the sound source is but somehow it’s frustratingly familiar. I’ve been listening to this every day for three weeks or so and feel woefully equipped to write about it.
Scordatura is Koch’s attempt to get out of the box, to remove himself from the computer and return to real in the room instrumentation, using recordings of himself playing drums, Rhodes piano, acoustic and electric guitar which then has processed – often dramatically.
It comes across like some kind of post jazz electronic sound design. Granular soundscapes for the IDM set. It’s highly experimental, often progressing in unexpected compositional directions, but never abruptly and Koch always feels entirely in control. It’s never abrasive, never difficult it’s just strange and beautiful, and possibly too much to conceptualise.
As if the album isn’t enough of a feat, he’s releasing it on cd, VHS and 8-track. Yep he loves those dead technologies. Amazing.