Cassegrain & Tin Man – High & Low
Like observing an awkward couple on their first date, it was hard for this writer to imagine this double act being together. After all, Tin Man is the project from California’s Johannes Auvinen, which over a near ten-year period has seen acid evolve from its raw form into something more studious and considered, without stripping it of its punkish energy. Cassegrain on the other hand are best known for their layered, dubby techno for labels like Prologue and M Rec.
This however is Tin Man and Cassegrain’s second collaborative release, so like that chubby boy dining with the vampish blonde a few tables away; something is going very right in this relationship. Listening to the title track in isolation though, it would be hard not to conclude that Tin Man wears the trousers in this relationship. Over ten minutes long, it consists of little more than a throbbing acid line that ebbs and flows against a skeletal percussive framework. Despite this basic approach, it doesn’t feel laboured or goes on for too long.
“Sex Kit” is more intense, with Tin Man’s 303s shrieking and screeching as they reach a tortured climax. Nonetheless, Cassegrain’s input is audible here, with metallic drums and steely percussive slivers underscoring the wild acid peaks and troughs. By the time that “Sand Maze” looms into earshot, it is clear that Cassegrain are on top, so to speak. Tin Man tries his best to yield his influence and to begin with, it sounds like he has succeeded as a resonating 303 dominates the intro. But it is soon overwhelmed by atmospheric textures and, as the arrangement progresses, ponderous piano keys. Both sides of this odd couple might be loath to admit it, but in the battle for supremacy there is no winner, just high, lows and everything in between.
A1. High & Low
B1. Sex Kit
B2. Sand Maze