The human being is one of the most complex constructs on earth. It is filled with innumerable processes; each one of them far more complex than anything man has synthesized so far. So, Atau Tanaka had no shortage of inspiration when conceiving of his Biorhythms project.
Biorhythms is as diverse as the human corpus. While Tanaka neither attempts nor achieves a comprehensive view of man, he covers a wide range of emotions, colors, and bioprocesses. If a listener had no information on this release, they might take it to be a compilation, because the album is so sonically diverse.
One can see the biological processes alive on this album. “Arteries of Tokyo” is literal in its title. You can feel the thick, viscous coursing of your most precious fluid all about you as filter sweeps pan around the stereo spectrum. “Soft” noise softly buoys you up while you traverse the mysteries of miles of veins. “Heart:beat:monitor” reveals what “Arteries of Tokyo” only synthesized: the sounds of the heart beating. This restless pulse thumps on until another heartbeat is set on alongside it, creating phase patterns to rival those of Steve Reich. Tanaka uses phasing loops again on “28:32:33” The title seems to refer to the tempo of the three tones that comprise this track. These tones fall in and out of phase with each other, and when they correspond, they produce complex harmonics.
Not all tracks are rigid conceptual explorations, however. “Delull” is a downtempo track that sounds similar to what Future Sound of London were doing on their ISDN album, with its massive drums and pinging samples. “Otaku” is similar, but has a much more slowed down, drugged feel. “F:M:R” starts out like a pounding tech-house track, but is entirely transformed when Tanaka brings on the marching, metallic percussion.
“Adagio” is the odd one out on this album. Its dreamy, swirling synth textures are almost out of place here, but its tender simplicity offers a counter to the often hectic nature of the rest of the album. Aside from its conceptual explorations, Biorhythms is an excellent and varied listen that helps bridge the gap between the dancefloor and the couch.
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