N 045LP N 045LP

German trio Saroos present their fourth album, the densely layered Tardis, exploring new possibilities with renowned producer Tadklimp. Since they formed Saroos in 1998, Florian Zimmer (ISO68, Jersey, Driftmachine), Max Punktezahl (The Notwist, Contriva), and Christoph Brandner (Lali Puna, Console) have continued to evolve as an ever-changing creative force, which has now been meticulously channeled into their strongest musical statement yet. Having already collaborated with Anticon's Alias and cLOUDDEAD's Odd Nosdam, the trio open up for another outside perspective by collaborating with Tadklimp, who mixed Saroos's third album, Return (N 035CD/LP). Tadklimp, who has worked with Fenster and Slow Steve, accompanied the trio from the very beginning, contributing to the record's sound and adding his own ideas to their unique mélange of otherworldly sounds. While Saroos usually base their composition process on sampling and the interplay of minute elements, for this album they let their ideas diffuse boundlessly before transforming them in carefully thought-out compositions that sit between pop sentiment and the atmospheric gravity of instrumental music. While Zimmer's experiments with modular synthesizers in his side project Driftmachine also had an influence on Tardis, the members' respective roles haven't changed much. It is still Zimmer who provides the rough sketches, which undergo harmonic and rhythmic refinement at Punktezahl and Brandner's hands, while also taking in countless references. From a rerecorded Rosemary's Baby sample to a koto (a Japanese stringed instrument), every influence is transformed and tied together tightly to create an imaginative whole that aims at capturing the unimaginable without ever explaining it. From the spooky sounds piercing the otherwise soothing interplay of joyful melodies on opener "Weaver's Cave" to the ethereal vocal performance buried deep in the mix of "Orange Book" and the bubbling sounds with which "Sleepy White" closes the album, Tardis cunningly integrates unheard-of elements into seemingly familiar structures. Tardis is thus not intended to simply evoke the time machine and spacecraft from Doctor Who, but takes the acronym "Time and Relative Dimension in Space" literally. Everything about Tardis seems removed from both time and space, relatively close but as if from another dimension. Fittingly, when asked which vocalist Saroos has dreamt of collaborating with, Zimmer names the late Broadcast lead vocalist Trish Keenan. Much like Broadcast's music, Tardis creates dense layers in which ghosts can wander freely, evoking vaguely remembered thoughts.