Okay, so I know I'm not setting off any metal detectors here with this review, considering this tape's been floating out there for a few months now, but...
The fact that this is a solo project is what really gets me excited. Beyond feeding my delusion that I could put something together like this given enough time in a closet with no food, the Tunnels project points to another spoke on the creative wheel surrounding the members of Eternal Tapestry, a phenomenal psych band with multiple recordings this year that are all quickly reaching our year end top ten list. Nick Bindeman's the dude's name behind Tunnels. Remember it. From the Thrill Jockey page:
In the spring of 2008, Bindeman began playing live sets singing over a four track recorder. His initial output, like a dirtier, playful Suicide, with backing tracks acting as vehicles for live exploration. Bindeman would often go into a frenzied state, mumbling and slurring through slapdash songs. These performances gradually evolved into more cohesive and clean music and recording became the focus of the project, writing material through the recording process and eventually falling victim to the lure of pop.Tunnels sounds like some kraut-y version of flightsuitwave, a brand new subgenre I just made up so that I can feel better about the fact that my collar's flipped up while I write this. And The Blackout could have been the soundtrack to some East Berlin bootleg version of Top Gun if the cold war had been fought purely over cultural differences like it should have been--wait a sec, that's right, I found a German dub of Top Gun on Youtube, for you, and then I slathered Berlin's video on top. Now you can't possibly claim I don't love you. Shh. I said, shhh, now. Let me just brush back your bangs.
Back to the Blackout: there's plenty of bedroom tape aesthetic smeared across this release, but the production's got a poppier, hookier, and less abrasive sound than that might lead you to believe. Even if Bindeman's purpose hadn't been to set a bunch of assholes loose in the clubs windmilling with a stiff posture and a gold-rimmed pair of aviator's on, that's exactly what Tunnels has done for us (Urban dictionary def: 2. I was at the club the other day and this one guy totally showed me up when he started windmilling. He got like, nine chicks). It's mechanical music, but it's not macho. There's a dancefloor backbone to it that makes this the right shit to kick at parties, and I dare you to resist pumping the keg with a more perfect efficiency.
You can listen to the entire damn thing on Soundcloud, or you can do what I did and get suckered in by the prospect of engaging with some sweet, sweet 20th century tech by buying the tape from Thrill Jockey (originally available on Troubleman Unlimited).
I'd call my band Chunnels, by the way. Anglophile-style. Fuck, it's past noon on Saturday. Time to starch some turtlenecks.
Tunnels - The Blackout CS by sweatingtapes