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Joshua Van Tassel


Joshua Van Tassel - Understar EP

Understar EP
Backward - 2015


Michael Panontin
Joshua Van Tassel can usually be found either perched behind the drum kit, as on 2014's cool Double Tooth 7", or working the controls as producer for the likes of Dean Drouilllard and the Olympic Symphonium. On this super-fine EP, the Toronto-based Van Tassel has concocted a trippy sonic paean to the otherwise humble - and homely! - giant squid. "The giant squid," he muses on his blog, "is such an extraordinary and elusive creature that one can only logically assume it originates from somewhere deep in space. Understar is the score to one such creature's journey."

These tracks, the first to be produced at Van Tassel's new Dream Date studio, display a dreamy, almost underworld quality that would seem to suggest some kind of visual accompaniment...a deep-sea documentary perhaps or even something more experimental. In fact, Van Tassel himself hints at that sort of thing, calling this "the prologue to a forthcoming full-length work including a short story and visuals." Three of the four tracks chart a similar course, setting the tone with a predictably hushed and cinematic intro, and then punctuating it with some sinewy, if somewhat obtrusive, drumbeats. The best of the bunch, though, is easily the closing 'Passage', which by its gripping, quasi-cacophonous ending has clearly captured the mysterious essence of the deep-sea biosphere.
         


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