Review: (tf100) - tf100 (2011)


artist: (tf100)
release: tf100
format: book, 2x 10″ vinyl
year of release: 2011
label: tone­float
dur­a­tion: 42:39

To cel­eb­rate its 100th anniversary (i.e. 100 releases), Dutch Tone­float Records organ­ised a fest­ival and cre­ated a book chron­ic­ling the his­tory of the label. Over the years, the label has come to be known for its unique philo­sophy and musical style (broadly defined as com­bin­a­tions of psy­che­delic, ambi­ent, and exper­i­mental music in many forms) , and its ded­ic­a­tion to the artists and the present­a­tion of the releases. A book is there­fore a lovely way to show­case these aspects of the label. And the res­ult is lovely: a hard­back with loads of images spread through­out its 108 pages, and some­thing that caters to lov­ers of both records and books. Two sample pic­tures can be found here and here.

If that wasn’t enough, of course there is an aud­it­ory side to the release as well, in the form of seven tracks spread across two 10″ records, all unique and exclus­ive col­lab­or­a­tions by a num­ber of pro­lific Tone­float artists. The first two tracks are taken care of by Sand Snow­man, Steven Wilson and Theo Travis as a trio. As one might expect, the res­ult is a neb­u­lous, laid-back mix­ture of ghostly acous­tic and ambi­ent, and even a bit of tango on “Tre­vail”. “Cali­for­nia Fall­ing” is another dreamy song, this time Wilson together with Moon­swift, Dirk Ser­ries and Peter van Vliet. The fourth track con­tin­ues in the same dir­ec­tion, but without Moon­swift. Van Vliet then breaks the flow with the funky elec­tron­ica piece “Through the Eyes of the Duck”. The last two tracks are back into ambi­ent ter­rit­ory again, with Sand Snow­man and Wilson pair­ing up for a long raga-lige piece ded­ic­ated to John Fahey, and Ser­ries and Maarten van der Vleu­ten work­ing together on the excel­lent “Murmle­fish”. Par­tic­u­larly this final and new col­lab­or­a­tion really has some chemistry,and is per­haps some­thing to con­sider expand­ing towards future pro­jects. Both artists are gif­ted and subtle com­posers, and in this rich track, with its hope­ful melodic flow and var­ied instru­ment­a­tion, this really comes to the fore.

All in all, a worthy piece to cel­eb­rate this anniversary, and pretty much essen­tial for any­one who has fol­lowed the label, but also worth look­ing into for the music alone. Like I said, Tone­float is a label that does not com­prom­ise when it comes to select­ing its artists, and that shows from what some of them have put together for the occa­sion.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Like Char­coal (9:07)
2. Tre­vail (1:27)
3. Cali­for­nia Fall­ing (4:26)
4. Pale Ghost­like Friend (3:59)
5. Through the Eyes of the Duck (2:46)
6. Song for John Fahey (11:19)
7. Murmle­fish (9:35)