Tengger - Spiritual 2 - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tengger - Spiritual 2

by Jeff Penczak Rating:10 Release Date:2019-06-07
Tengger - Spiritual 2
Tengger - Spiritual 2

Korean krautrock is the latest subgenre of ambient analogue synth music to wash through my ears, but the duo of Itta (from South Korea) and Marqido (from Japan) have been making sombre, relaxing introspective music for about 15 years, initially as 10 (four albums on various labels) and then as Tengger (Mongolian for “Skygod”) since 2013. The pair describe themselves as an “electronic/psychedelic drone duo of musical travelers”, so climb on board and enjoy the trip. They’ve released a half dozen albums in their latest incarnation, this being the second this year, a follow up to the first Spiritual album released a few months ago on Extra Noir.    

Titles are descriptive in, I think, musical terms – thus we have ‘High’, ‘Middle’ and ‘Low’ serpentining through other navel-gazing self-explorations like ‘See’, ‘Kyrie’, and ‘Ajari’, all culminating in the sidelong epic (magically constructed to last 16:16), ‘Wasserwellen’, where their hypnotic krautrock influences really come to the fore.

Opener ‘High’ is a motorific rush down the autobahn, the wind in your face, and troubles flying by like a hyperspace rocket ride through the Milky Way galaxy. Repetitive drones meld Kraftwerk with Tangerine Dream and are supplemented by Itta’s angelic wordless vocals on your journey heavenward into another dimension. ‘See’ is more amoebic, floating on soothing drones and drifting vocals to imbue a spiritual vibe to the synth foundation. Closer to New Age (a la Aeoliah or Laraaji), the meditative drones will bring inner peace to the listener with an open mind for inner exploration of a more religious bent.

‘Kyrie’ continues the spiritual vibe, moving closer to the Popul Vuh end of the krautrock spectrum (the eerie synths and disembodied voices would have also worked wonders alongside Popul’s tracks on Herzog’s Nosferatu soundtrack) and ‘Ajari’ is a playful slice of bubblegum synth pop.

Just sit back, close your eyes, and float away. Sensory deprivation tanks are optional.

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