t2k – “Remote Transmissions” (Barking Monkey Records 2011)

The name of t2k’s debut album Remote Transmissions is singularly appropriate, as the band were never all in the same studio, or even the same state, when it was being recorded. Instead, sound files were passed through cyberspace between the different players who added their own parts before assembling and mixing the whole album using Protools and Logic 9 systems. The project came about when Kevin Gerety (8-string fretless Warr guitar and fretless bass) and Kevin StClair (Roland v-drums), who had been jamming in their Connecticut basement, hooked up with Colorado-native Timmy C Pitschka (6 & 7 string guitars and piano) over the internet and started working as a trio by sharing files to create the basis for the album. The result is 70 minutes of improvised music spread across eight tracks which range from ambient soundscapes to a kind of metal-dub fusion.

With the Warr guitar being used, there is naturally going to be some Trey Gunn/latter-day King Crimson sounds in there, but also Gilmour in Echoes/Axe mode on the twelve minute 59 and even a bit of Joe Satriani on MTB Disaster. The latter track is about as close to actual metal as t2k ever get, preferring dense sonic textures over speed or attack. Instrumentally, the fretless bass playing on 5 Star Linen and the relatively short Noctilucent really stands out, while Happy Robot features some impressive two-handed finger-tapping. However, none of it is intended to set the pulse racing and seventy minutes is probably a little too long for the amount of material here; perhaps a few of the longer tracks could have been trimmed down a little. Having said that, the enormous slow-buring drones of Walmut Manu and haunting piano and fretless bass melodies of 5 Star Linen serve as excellent bookends for what is essentially a chill-out album, music for drifting away to, rather than rocking out to.

For further information about the band, go to http://www.t2kabs.bandcamp.com
Remote Transmissions is available through CD Baby at http://www.cdbaby.com/artist/t2k1

Reviewed by Pat Albertson

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