Hybrid bass producer Tsimba is back with his fourth EP, Dématérialiser, an indulgent and meticulously crafted four-track release on Wormhole Music Group. Tsimba aka Mark Evans Musto has earned a reputation for quality in sound design, composition and performance, and he only elevates that reputation with this release.
Creative sound pervades Dématérialiser, and mastering from Andy Widdecomb aka DeeZ provides just the right gloss to it all. “Hugo” offers the EP’s most startling sound design. Tsimba gets inside the grooves of whatever synthesizer or plug-in he’s using and exposes its innards to the audience. This forward-thinking futuristic sound is mirrored by a more traditional pitched-down LFO a la early dubstep, setting up a novel call and response. Synchronizing with the snare is a squeaky clean sample of a sword being unsheathed. Minor but delightful details like this mark Dématérialiser as the work of a craftsman.
The title track is one of the strongest single tunes from Tsimba to date. The sound design is immaculate and the mix-down balanced. Tsimba flawlessly applies distortion to a very choice vocal sample, and places that sample just so in the arrangement as to throttle the vibes into warp drive along with a tempo switch. Mark, a drummer and metal head in his younger years, laces the driving drum and bass rhythm with his ferocious hybrid bass sound and creates a thrilling sequence that will leave even the most scrupulous listener fulfilled.
Mark’s “future roots” sound, as he calls it, has always been prefaced on three elements; well-rounded and foundational percussion, a girthy, ear-tickling synthesizer stack, and familiar, forceful melodies. All these elements are present on Dématérialiser. It has all the elements of an excellent release - it is an excellent release, but there’s something missing.
Tsimba has nasty sounds, no question, and he knows how to sling them at the listener to crushing effect. But this skill is becoming more commonplace and therefore less compelling. Take “Ghetto 5000” featuring Tygris. The drops showcase some extremely tight sound design - numerous, diverse, and unequivocally fat examples of it. But to what end? It comes across as heaviness with little direction, and this finds my interest waning. Tsimba is undoubtedly good at what he's good at - but we hear more beneath the surface that’s untapped.
Still, Dématérialiser is praise-worthy. “Hugo” sounds like one of those cuts that other producers will eagerly scoop up for their sets this Summer. We look forward to hearing Tsimba himself play these out at Spring and Summer stops including Psychedelic Sleepover, nights with Brightside in Philly and Mickman in Boston, and more to be announced.