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Metatag - 2015 - "Surrender"

(57:47, Hel Audio Records)


1. Outsider 2:31
2. Lunar Half 2:48
3. Dying Light Bulb 2:13
4. Flaming 2:42
5. Escape 2:43
6. Area Two 3:04
7. Add Rainclouds 2:19
8. Sidstation Vacation 3:01
9. Gliding White 3:06
10. Plato Streams 3:03
11. Between 1:02
12. Earthling 3:40
13. Unrest 2:07
14. N779 2:20
15. Dreamwaves 2:05
16. The Fallen Ones 3:34
17. The Sky Beneath 2:15
18. Surrender 2:23
19. Time Capsule 3:27
20. Red Eye Remover 2:12
21. Decemberland 2:29
22. The Endless City 2:43 


Not stated

Prolusion. The Norwegian project METATAG consists of two composers who prefer to stay anonymous. They first appeared in 2014 with their debut album "Transmission", and one year later they reappeared with their second studio recording "Surrender". Like with their initial production it was released on cassette by the US label Hel Audio.

Analysis. Electronic and often minimalist music is the name of the game for this venture, and in this case it is rather curiously an album filled with rather short excursions. Not that this project is a stranger to those, as that was a staple also on their debut album, but at least in my experience most artists exploring the electronic music landscapes, at least outside of mainstream, tend to that in a more elongated manner. The dominant aspect of this production is fairly uniform excursions safely residing inside of the ambient universe. Cosmic sounds that bring forth associations to solar storms and deep space sit side by side with dystopian futuristic sounds with or without sounds that come with an automatic association towards machines, all very melodic and just about always dark, melancholic or mournful in spirit. Ambient dystopian landscapes may well be a fitting description. Sometimes more intense, but more often than not relaxed in what I'd describe as a typical ambient manner. On a few occasions the arrangements are more fleshed out, the sounds richer and more dramatic, and then often with a distinct rhythm element present. On these occasions Metatag starts approaching a sound and style not all that unlike Tangerine Dream's more commercial material: vintage electronica in sound as well as in spirit. Another aspect of the album that gives it a feel of vintage e-music is the presence of white noise. If by accident or design I don't know, but the subtle static actually fits the material fairly well, giving the entire production a lo-fi, retro-oriented character.

Conclusion. Dark ambient electronic music with dystopian futuristic landscapes as a specialty is what Metatag provides us with on "Surrender". Some excursions into more of a classic electronic universe appear here and there, adding a bit of variety to the proceedings, but by and large this is a production that will have its main appeal among those fond of the darker aspects of ambient electronic music.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: January 7, 2016
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Hel Audio Records


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