DARREN TATE – Snippets


Romanticizing the sonic art of Darren Tate comes pretty easy on these shores, as the most attentive readers already know. The music – or, in this case, the pure fragments of individual reality that come out from the inventive spurts of this Yorkshire-born reclusive audio painter, inevitably sheltered by the extremely limited editions in which they’re published, are always special – even when they don’t sound like that. Snippets is basically a series of snapshots whose character ranges from plain noise to unsophisticated poetry, interspersed with delicate interludes of singing blackbirds and minimal appearances that are as unexpected as well greeted: the music box playing a minuscule fragment of “Greensleeves” counts as a small treasure in this cynical heart. The main source for the instrumental manipulations is an acoustic guitar, abused in each of its components: strings are scraped and tortured, woods are utilized as hand drums, an electric appliance (maybe a razor?) becomes a part of the picture for a few instants. Other noises were apparently generated by vocalizing through the instrument’s soundhole, or just emitting strange snaps with the mouth. If the first impression is one of slight dissociation, the following spins confirm the artist’s unique approach as a desirable trademark. In Tate’s work, everything weighs the same, daily life and the variously tasting fruits of unadulterated improvisation. It’s all coherent as ever.

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