August 10, 2012

Compliments

If you've ever purchased one of their beautiful tapes or seen any of the media that emerges from No Kings Record Cadre, one of our favorite LA-area tape labels (God knows there are a few great ones), you won't need to hear me ramble about their incredible design work - experimental synth and performace composer Tim Coster's Mediterranean Years is only the most recent example, though it is a particularly striking one. All the more recommendation of No Kings that the tape with Coster, who lives in Melbourne via Auckland and is - I can only imagine just how more or less incidentally - a sculptor by training, was arranged while he played a show at the home of No Kings proprietor Lee Noble. Recorded in part during a show at Echo Park and completed after Coster returned to Melbourne, Mediterranean Years is a gorgeous tape's worth of ambient synths and meticulous loops, but the deliberation with which the two cycles that seem to compose it were formed is too much not to connect with Coster's background as an architect. Two short pieces, named "Peach Prism" ("Hey mister j-card color palette, how you doing?") and the tape's eponymous track, lead into "Compliments" and "We" respectively. Given their disparate origins, ie, where Coster may have been working out the different tunes, it makes sense that the two sides of the tape would follow different paths, but the rawer sound of "Compliments" is given the perfect respite in the wide open loops and drone of "We". I'm sure some of my more knowledgeable friends, like our fellow writer Brad - who actually worked with him via his own imprint Digitalis - might be able to say more along those lines, but I can't assess the whole of a decade's worth of endless creation, so I'll leave you with Coster's "Compliments" to consider.

Stream: Tim Coster - Compliments You can purchase Mediterranean Years on cassette from No Kings, either by itself or for some savings if you grab it here, with some of their latest; tapes with Secret Birds and German Army.

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