Aberdonian outfit Tryptamines pick up with their new album The Way Which Can be Named is not the Nameless Way, the way they left off with the last track off of their last album ‘The Way Which Can be Named is not the Nameless Way’.
Perhaps, given their names, this should have been expected.
If you know what to expect from Tryptamines you will know what to expect from this album.
That is, an evocative and eclectic mixture of traditional and contemporary instrumentation with haunting, ethereal vocals and exquisite, ephemeral soundscapes.
The individuals behind Tryptamines each seem to add a string to the dynamic and flexible bow of the band.
Their fusion of electronic and organic methods and techniques truly does culminate in some familiar sounding yet very original music.
Since Tryptamines is “a controlled explosion of sound” and their impetus seems to be on the overall impression left by the combination of their myriad elements, it seems to me that the mix could have been treated with a bit more love and attention in places – such as in ‘A Landslide O Tiny Robots’
There are some elements that – although perfectly placed within the structure of the song – do not meld as well as they could, like a sugar cube that doesn’t quite dissolve, or a piece of potato in your stovie that hasn’t been boiled long enough.
This hang-up only arises on account of the high standards Tryptamines have set for themselves; their songs are consistently impressive and immersive in their own distinct way, operating as self-contained works and also as constituent parts of an over-arching thematic experience.
A bit like when you wake and remember various dreams, all different but with a thread running through them; this dream analogy is no mistake, and a half-hour listening to Tryptamines should ratify its use.
Tryptamines seem quite unique in terms of the amount of organic piano work in their music, it is very refreshing and enjoyable.
Some tracks rely more on electronic elements (‘Metropolis’), while others are more organic throughout (‘Euphoric Agitation’) and the juxtaposition of these approaches is really quite intoxicating.
The band is comprised of a series of extremely talented individuals whose restraint and discipline combined with taste and musical understanding creates some wonderfully original and profoundly impressive music.
Tryptamines do not seem to be in the habit of phoning it in, the shortest track on the album is just under five minutes long, with the longest weighing in at just under nine.
Still, with the bands ability to fabricate for the listener broad acoustic environments, no part of the album drags on or feels laboured.
As far as development from their last album is concerned, there doesn’t seem to be a great amount, however this shouldn’t concern, just if you liked their first album, there is really no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy this one equally as much or more, if you didn’t, don’t bother with this one.
Words: Paul Aitken