Review: Derek Piotr – Tempatempat

Derek Piotr - TempatempatOn Tempatempat, time is sliding across itself. The beats are fierce – the rumble of loose skin and guttural resonance bins, like the feet and bellows of animal deities – and they count seconds passing with the rigidity of a clock hand, snapping from one moment to the next with a deliberate ear for progress and movement. I sense the day passing, and I feel age teasing out the skin on my hands. Yet in between these pillars of distinct instants are resonances of stillness: Piotr’s voice winding blissfully round solid objects, singing bowls melting across the bars, electronic drones that sit crookedly against the rhythm like a dark shadow cast along one side, humming deeply. A will to dance sidles out of the friction of speeds – the slow, rotating meditation of my torso ripples outward into the snaps of action of my arms and legs – like a moon hurtling around a planet that orbits much more patiently.

Melody is an implicit thing, generated in its own absence. I feed off of the pitch of drum samples (indulgent bass drum hums), cling to the anti-notes of Piotr’s woozy flights of song as they slip out of my hands, harmonise with the music of feedback that comes rustling out of samples of what sounds like submarine equipment against the gurgle of oceanic pressure. “Terminal” is chaotic and yet somehow inseparably whole, like staring at the human form for the first time – a jagged network of protrusions (cut up vocal sample, the rustle of microphones knocked off of rocks, muffled cockpit controls) that extends organically out of the centre in spite of its seemingly erratic and harsh shapes. “Thicket Of Light-Needles” (needles of light? Needless of minimal mass?) quivers as though in stop motion; Piotr’s voice jerks under the dictation of delicate auto-tune, while the sounds in the backdrop alternate between the burps of a broken computer and that chilling, preparatory creak of a tree about to fall; the commotion of splintering wood.

Time is sliding across itself. Tempatempat stands me beneath a trembling night club speaker stack and upon the fire of an ancient percussive ritual, alluding gently to the rhythmic hypnosis that draws them together – the momentum within seamless repetition (which also resides in the album title that folds into itself), and the sense of a singularity – a whole, a deliberate and clear agenda – within a collation of individual samples: hand-carved staccato electronics, coarsely textured field recording, voices ventriloquized into distant bodies, the wobble of wood and cow skin membrane. I hear the spiritual music that creates gargantuan shapes in the combination of velocity and empty space, and I hear the sex and malfunction of modern day pop like Beyonce and Timberlake.