Yves Tumor
Serpent Music


3.0
good

Review

by Finn Baker USER (43 Reviews)
April 17th, 2018 | 10 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Just a little bit better than the others.

How I found Serpent Music, the second full-length and breakout release from Miami enigma Yves Tumor, is irrelevant. What actually counts is the fact that I found it at all. The album is listed under genres such as sound collage, ambient, and field recordings on rateyourmusic.com. All three of those genres are linked by one descriptor: easy. A so-called sound collage does not require so much composing as it does editing, as a producer can rip short samples from vinyl and arrange them into something that approximates the sum of its parts. Ambient used to be an intrinsically complex style of music in the era of analog music, though as of late, it is relatively easy to generate half an hour of an ambient piece in half of your lunch break. Field recordings are arguably the most undemanding of the trio, as the entire process of creation is in the name itself.

Many young producers have found themselves replicating these styles of organized sound into an abyss of utter familiarity, an area of culture that’s either so full of soundalikes or so devoid of a refreshing sound, it all becomes null. Thus it is so captivating, trying to fathom how Yves Tumor was able to excel above all of those people. No drastic changes had to be made, as Serpent Music still bears many resemblances to that lo-fi aesthetic so many people attempt to replicate. The biggest difference is the amount of professional polish involved. At no point does the album sound improvised, made on nothing more than a whim. Things change at the right time, and when they occasionally refuse to change, it is justifiable.

One example is the song Seed, which does little to alter itself over the seven-minute runtime. The noises that lather the muzak beat sizzle and crack and expose themselves, which does just about enough to maintain an intriguing sound. When it’s clear that a song won’t be able to remain interesting for so long, it ends quickly, and songs like Devout and Role in Creation are good showcases. Occasionally, Serpent Music is unsettling, and it isn’t because Yves Tumor wanted to make you feel buried alive. Although that does happen on the track Broke In. No, from time to time, this project becomes disquieting because a song will go on for a while without saying anything. That doesn’t require words, necessarily, but it requires a point. A point to the song, how it plays into songs around it, how I am supposed to feel during my listen. Yet I have no idea why the song Cherish exists.

It consists of a nine-second loop that plays for three minutes alongside some stretched out moaning that will nonplus me to no end. It does seem that, on the surface, it takes the form of a smooth jam that could be played during sex, but it happens to take up the sounds that come from sex all on its own. It’s unclear what role the track has in the grand scheme of the album. Another instance of that is the entirety of Perdition, the eight-minute outro. It is reminiscent of Black Dice’s very first album, and how six minutes of one piece was completely unaffected wave splashing. This is the same; a few minutes of lone waves, strings swell up and a remarkable choir does the same, and then we go back to the waves. It feels contained only within itself, and the track that precedes it feels like a fitting enough end to Serpent Music. Why is this here?

At times, it does feel like the amount of work Yves Tumor went through in order to make Serpent Music shine above its contemporaries just wasn't quite enough. It sounds great when the looping beats are entrancing enough to make the listener lose themselves, have a song or two on repeat while they work. When that does not happen, though, it is either just above commonplace or will fall into the trap of total pedestrian noise. It is not all bad, of course. Dajjal, Face of A Demon, and many other songs are wonderful specimens of Yves Tumor’s production capabilities. I just wish they would push themselves a little bit more.



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user ratings (34)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheBarber
April 17th 2018


3852 Comments


Meh

Digging: Deathprod - Occulting Disk

TheBarber
April 19th 2018


3852 Comments


Still nobody else commented on this ? If this review came out three months ago I bet we'd have 3 pages akready. Goes to show how quickly the fad for this guy has died.

On a sidenote this is a lovely review. Have a pos

IcelandRevel
April 19th 2018


943 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks, Barber! I've been finding quite a few albums that, although they were popular at one time or another, they do not have a review. I want to add to my repertoire by filling in those gaps.

TheBarber
April 19th 2018


3852 Comments


Brave lad you are

SoakedInTorment
May 21st 2018


23 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Has anyone seen him live? Saw him for the second time last night and his live show is a complete 180 from this album lol

MaskAtTheMasquerade
July 25th 2018


2924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really enjoyed this release, such a varied amount of work going on here. Some of it is extremely elegant while other tracks are flat out twisted.



New track just dropped today as well: https://pitchfork.com/news/yves-tumor-shares-new-song-noid-listen/

Ryus
July 25th 2018


18089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

new song is great

IcelandRevel
September 24th 2018


943 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha, this proves that I thought Yves Tumor was only decent before he was cool.

MaskAtTheMasquerade
September 25th 2018


2924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

have you heard his TEAMS stuff? I think he's always been cool...

IcelandRevel
September 30th 2018


943 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Kwaiden was alright.



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