Based out of Spain, Daniel Romero joins a legion of contemporary bedroom boffins who yearn to find that elusive sweet spot where the characteristics of "organic" (read, "analog") instrumentation and electronics form an ever more perfect union. Operating under the sobriquet of .Tape. (phonetically rendered as Dot Tape Dot), Romero's not the first one at the party nor the last, nor is he working in an area that hasn't been done to death already by folks from Karaoke Kalk, Darla, City Centre Offices, Type, Highpoint Lowlife, Plop, et al. However, his is an ability of charming traits rather than cloying ones; he might not be "indietronica's" savior, but the homespun trickling out of the speakers from this compilation is an engagingly guilty enough pleasure.
A number of the "rarities" included here are unreleased, although most are plucked from CD-Rs, net-labels, and dozens of other obscure collections spread across the independent network sprawl. Blink and you would have missed them, but if you must indulge yourself in sugarcoated electronica, you could do worse than Romero's beguiling whimsy. The percolating "Rosa Luxemburger" could easily be mistaken for an updated Cluster piece, what with its nursery box rhythmic tics, blips and pulses, something of a bubbly confection that would have acquitted itself admirably on the Krautrock kingpins' Zuckerzeit LP, thank you. "Miracolo a Milano" laces sunny Spanish guitar across an undergrowth of cooking static, faux cor-anglais, sour harmonicas and bird whistles woven into a latticework of modern digital folk music. "Pal Talk 2" also makes judicious use of strummed (looped?) guitars that gently weep, angling their aching strings across music-box chimestreams and odd laptop ephemera to birth an elegiac cyber-Spanish fantasia. It's all affective, and superficially well-produced, although how effective ultimately depends on one's tolerance for what is perceived as the sonic equivalent of jujubes-gummy, colorful, yet over-ingestion can make things hard on the arteries.
Pretty patina aside, Romero's acoustic/electronic interfacing isn't flagrant, aimless studio tinkering; the acrobatic sonics on display belie a robust compositional artfulness that implies he's a multimedia savant, tapping into a veritable rainbow of frequencies. Imbibe yes, but doing so in smaller doses makes for a far more rewarding experience.
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