Monday, 27 February 2012

Paper Tiger - Illuminated EP [Mind On Fire Records; MOF007]

Mind On Fire Records’ seventh recording project (third vinyl imprint) savours an artist whose music never lingers on the same idea for too long. Although Paper Tiger often perform as a septet, this EP holds the hallmarks of the band leader Greg Surmacz’s solo laptop and sax slot supporting Shigeto at Islington Mill last year; unable to sit still while scratching the itch of galactic jazz with self-described knob-twiddling.

‘Delight Dub’ is a good example of that progressive inclination. Beginning with a bubbling calm like Four Tet’s ‘Reversing’, they then introduce assertive beats, fidgety glitches and subtle womps and by the midway point it’s a bustling forum for stop-start staggered propulsion and scattered trails of thought. It’s not dissimilar to the title track of their ‘Send Me’ single via Jus Like Music Records last year for its helium ridden vocal clips and spliced sci-fi until brought to rest by a late cosmic synth refrain.

The title track ‘Illuminated’ holds a more straight-forward musical flow that welcomes in the band’s trademark saxophone, but this is generally a record of darkly ambient turbulence filled with ADD and constant shifts in focus, not too far removed from the structure-abrogating Brainfeeder label’s output.

The flip side sees Blacksmif’s remix of steadily looped builds joined by a Wisent reworking as scrunched and jagged as the paper protruding from the cover artwork designed by onefiveeight’s James Hayes. Each offering an alternate perspective whilst remaining true to the various directions trodden by Paper Tiger's originals.

Words: Ian Pennington
EP cover art: James Hayes (onefiveeight)
Gig photography: Nathan Gibson

Illuminated EP is released on 27th February 2012 via Mind On Fire Records. The Paper Tiger EP launch event is at Soup Kitchen on Friday 2nd March and includes a Paper Tiger laptop/sax set, Raphael Attar, Blacksmif, Agent J (Groovement) and Mind On Fire DJs; free entry before 11pm.

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