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Album review: ‘Strange Paradise” 


“Strange Paradise”

New Amsterdam Records

Tigue’s second album, “Strange Paradise,” released on April 27, finds the trio of percussionists (and Eastman School of Music alums) skewing ever more toward the ambient and drone tendencies that were prevalent on its debut, “Peaks.” The brilliance in Tigue’s music comes from the band’s ability to cultivate and sustain rhythmic interest amid Minimalist melodies and static harmonies. In other words: Tigue knows how to groove.

The music sounds deceptively simple. On “Triangle,” dizzying keyboard riffs seem to loop endlessly as Amy Garapic and Carson Moody weave tricky beats through multiple time signatures. “Contrails” is even more ethereal; the track relies on acoustic percussion instruments to heighten the atmosphere and create an illusion of timelessness. Matt Evans’s composition “Quilts” finishes what “Triangle” starts, as a constant organ drones over busy drums and assorted percussion, while a no-frills keyboard hook varies the harmony.

Compared to the visceral, shorter (from two to six minutes a piece) tracks on “Peaks,” this new recorded effort is focused on three chilled-out, long-form compositions. As an album, “Strange Paradise” takes the idea of the repeated phrase, or ostinato, to its limits. But the music is far from monotonous. Tigue has created trance music that is accessible and complex, danceable and contemplative.

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