“Klaus returns from a two and a half year hiatus from himself with just 11 minutes of music - that’s an average of less than a second of music per day, which is frankly ridiculous” begins the summary for TNM004.
While it’s true that dispatches from Nick Sigsworth’s Tanum are few and far between, I don’t think I’d have it any other way. Listening to the assorted 12”s released on the imprint, its clear this is music which can’t be rushed. Sigsworth’s creative process seems to be about continuous reduction, stripping his tracks to their bare essentials and seeing how little he can get away with.
‘Cry Tuff’ opens TNM004 with sullen dulcet tones and intermittent thrusts of low-end working together in downcast harmony. At a different tempo you could be forgiven for placing this kind of music in the lineage of labels like Chain Reaction; Sigsworth’s textures and dubby and rich, clouded with gentle breezes of static and obscured field recordings. ‘Bela’ for example crackles like fireside kindling, distant vocals echoing in and out of focus. The effect is like driving at night; catching fragments of different scenes passing you by.
This is undeniably bass-heavy music, yet it seems as if with each release Sigsworth travels further and further from his debut, which stood on the fringes of the dubstep scene, the skeletal ‘Tusk’ EP. The low-end on ‘Gus’ is case in point, scaled down so much it acts as a kind of physical sub-pressure, rather than discernible notes. Washes of ambience are similarly opaque, as echoing string textures dart like meteors across the night sky.