This final offering from Tomaga plays like an undulating landscape of blue, dreamlike and yet sober, wrestling and finally coming to terms with ones internal state of affairs. Like the Frightnrs last and only studio album, Nothing More To Say, hastily finished while singer Dan Kliens health deteriorated and lead to his eventual passing.
The concepts and moods of Intimate Immensity have taken on more levels of profundity and honesty with the passing of Tom Relleen. Who in his terminal passage worked to have the album ready to enter the world shortly after he left it. In the liner notes, there is a quote by Derek Jarman that ‘Blue is darkness made visible’. Perhaps this is what this is, those immense and intimate emotions that come with this a period of reconciling and sharing, made visible by a journey of sound.
The opening slowly building up like the mounting sensation of butterflies in ones stomach, leading into some carefree and melancholic percussive scenes that make one briefly think of Icelands Müm before becoming a bit darker with the foreboding incantations of featured vocalist and member of Vanishing Twins’s Cathy Lucas.
A pulse flows throughout the album, driven by synths and Valentina Magaletti’s tireless percussive aesthetic that sounds at once effortless and yet the work of both drummers of Tortoise. There is a lingering attitude of late 90’s trip-hop in the beats, Boards Canada-esque washed synths, melding of sampled vocal fragments and live material making it comical, whimsical and slightly sinister. Like the nostalgia of an old scary film with a continual tension and release.
Reverie for fragile house plants is a dreamy and soothing space that consoles you after the intense experience of the glitchy and inorganic British Wildlife and finally giving way to the albums title track that closes in an epic fashion with its singing bass line and groove that merges into strings that feel like a transcendental consolation to the trip of the album, one can’t help but feel uplifted and emotional by how it seems to surrender into a kind of optimism.
Buy INTIMATE IMMENSITY HERE.