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Spider Smile

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Album Review

It's been a constant in the history of Tarwater — Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok are never satisfied, even with all the world of music that's been produced in over a century of recorded sound. Spider Smile, an invisibly conceptual album that deals with perceptions of America, sounds like an attempt to put into a pop context some of the most inconceivable music that's ever been produced. Whether it's electronic or electric or acoustic (or, usually, a mixture of all three), instrumental or vocal (here the boundaries are more distinct), Spider Smile is a cipher of bewitching sounds. "Witch Park" has an array of shakers, sequencers, and what sounds like a harmonica squealing away in a manner that sounds halfway between the sort of trance Robert Leiner used to produce and that of the Balinese gamelan orchestras. Tarwater's music is informed by the blues of America, the folk music of Africa, the electronic mood music of Cluster.


Formed: 1995 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Dance

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Tarwater, a duo comprising Germans Bernd Jestram and Ronald Lippok, have recorded several albums of distinctive, mostly instrumental music tagged post-rock because of Lippok's involvement in To Rococo Rot -- a German trio that has recorded for experimental independents such as Soul Static Sound and City Slang. Guitarist/bassist/programmer Jestram and drummer/vocalist/programmer Lippok met in an East German punk band, and began recording together even while Lippok recorded with To Rococo Rot and Jestram...
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Spider Smile, Tarwater
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