T’ien Lai – Da’at (CD MonotypeRec)
A mysterious broadcast from the Eastern Europe, at the least, collected on this conceptalbum by T’ien Lai. The Polish duo bring abstract Oriental impressions that in multiple moments reminds me of the bold ethnic folk of Master Musicians of Bukkake and sometimes the distant new age of Heldon as well. Besides that most of it sounds as if giant spaceships destroying the earth overnight (accompanied by those drones like giant blinding sunbeams of the French New Age master), there’s room for cosmic mysticism as well on Da’at.
Claiming to have or to want knowledge (Da’at means knowledge), those promises are easily forgotten in the abstract mix of electronics, samples and synths, not the best ingredients for an exciting listen and that is the main issue I have with this record. The shallow esoteric with electronic boldness that can come across as a quest for essence but most go into boring black voids of existential nothingness, leading inevitably into oblivion. But then again, it might as well be the strength of this record, superficial at times, captivating during other, what makes listening to T’ien Lai a mystified experience, accompanying them on their electronic excursions into nondescript areas of mock orient landscapes.
On Da’at, their inability to keep the listeners attention is compensated with strangely captivating and invocatory moments which makes it overall an interesting listen that’ll do perfect as office ambient, but it not really transcends the level of attention to distract and feel discomfort, and the confused listener questions if he was part of something, but (enigmatically) enough isn’t conscious of what exactly. PvdG.