Tropic Of Coldness – Framed Waves

[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

Perhaps more known to the Belgian experimental music scene, this duo from Bruxelles deserves unrestricted attention from the drone-ambient public. The album is released by the Italian label Glacial Movements. Somewhere between Nadja and Troum, Tropic Of Coldness prefers rather warm sceneries, treating the field recordings with feather touching and pinching chords like haunted by the fear they might disintegrate.

These five tracks gathered on their 2018 album called “Framed Waves” will appeal to all of us with a taste for melopee, a voice for the tiredness and disconsolation raised at the sound of existence. Every note is cherished in a maternal manner, almost cuddled and then released to meet the next one, and these intervals between the notes anticipate a silence as the result of some profound acceptance of the futility of all there is.

“Framed Waves” could be seen as the lighter side of the “Black Earth” album by Bohren & Der Club Of Gore, an extension of darkness into deeply vague and yet visible territories, the desert cheating the sterility of existence through the appearance of fata morgana.

Composed following the style of a poetic evocation, their melodies bear similarities to the prose poems celebrated in the French written literature. In fact, a Belgian author, Georges Rodenbach, wrote the first novel illustrated with photos, Bruges-la-Morte, if read, this book is very much alike to the black-and-white, dreaming and evanescent nature of the record. Idiosyncracy or not, the musicians had their share, always different, hard to categorize, to the symbolist-surrealist movement, Tropic Of Coldness can be approached under this angle to integrate at least some of the deepness of their estrangement.

Tropic Of ColdnessFramed Waves
Glacial Movements, GM034
CD/Digital 2018

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