Tengger

Spiritual 2

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Musical family Tengger is made up of experimental electronic musicians Marqido and Itta, occasionally joined by their young son Raai. Before Raai came along, the couple had already been making drony and hypnotic sounds for several years, calling on the influence of classic Krautrock bands as well as misty new age influences. Spiritual 2 marks the most clearly presented material in an already sizable discography, offering the best of the group's various approaches to drifting, carefully constructed electronic music. The hypnotic one-note jams of legendary bands like Neu, Harmonia, and Ashra have long been a key reference point for Tengger's sound, and several tracks here return to those inspirations. Album opener "High" has the same bounding, upbeat quality as some of the best minimal Krautrock grooves, with analog synth bass lines and clicking drum-box rhythms supporting Itta's floating wordless vocals. There's even a deeper nod to Neu when the song reappears at a slower speed later in the record as "Middle" and then slowed even further as the more textural "Low." Neu employed this same tactic on their second record, producing multiple songs from the same source material when they ran out of money to record a full album's worth of songs. The driving "Ajari" is similarly exciting, slowly developing in waves of repetition and cascading synth sequences. Tengger approach more droning and ambient material on tracks like the vaporous "Kyrie" and on lengthy album closer "Wasserwellen." Over the 16-plus minutes of "Wasserwellen," dreamlike arpeggios dance with fragmented vocal sounds, the immersive landscape slowly shifting as a patient drone grounds the swirling synth spirals. Near the end, reedy harmonium rises up from the layers of electronics, creating a beautiful electro-acoustic contrast. Spiritual 2 is among the more expertly constructed examples of motoric drone of its time, offering insightful readings of new age and Krautrock templates without simply mimicking already-established styles. The amount of imagination and gentle excitement Tengger brings to Spiritual 2 makes it instantly engaging, meditative, and fun.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 07:03
2
05:47
3 05:20
4 07:12
5 06:32
6
03:02
7 16:32
blue highlight denotes track pick