Fuck Buttons: Tarot Sport (ATP) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Saturday, March 28th, 2020  

Fuck Buttons

Tarot Sport

ATP

Dec 11, 2009 Issue #28 Fall 2009 - Monsters of Folk Bookmark and Share


You know it was bound to happen. Bristol noisniks Fuck Buttons, aka Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power, have hooked up with a big name boardsman—in this case DJ, remixer, and producer Andrew Weatherall—and toned down their aural apocalypse. This could be seen as a terribly foul cry, but it's not as bad of an outcome as one might think. The din-centric duo has jettisoned some of Street Horrrsing's black metal percussion and wonderfully horrific toy recorder vox, revealing dense and largely vocal-free sound experiments. They're confident in their maturity. The cover image of trippy orange hands above cloudy stratosphere portends liftoff sequences, but Tarot Sport takes its time on the slowly unfurling single, "Surf Solar." It's an organic bridge from the more violent storms from the duo's past, to the emotional abyss after the fallout.

Both "Surf" and the louder synth and drumstick gauze cut, "Rough Steez," open up with their thruster systems set to slow, revolving blasts of heat. It's danceable in a hypnotic sort of way, and with the strobes of the eventual live performance: probably seizure inducing. Fuck Buttons may not have constricted their running times, but they're perfecting the slow reveal. "The Lisbon Maru" harkens back to Street Horrrsing's martial drum patterns before letting off synth firecrackers around the halfway mark. The downcast and shimmering "Olympians" evokes Vangelis' triumphant soundtrack for Chariots of Fire, while the wobbly "Phantom Limb" sets off into vertigo-like soundscapes. Even Tarot Sport's gorgeously buzzing dénouement ("Flight of the Feathered Serpent") has a few surprises.

Ultimately, there are some moments that make your eyes glaze over. About half of "Space Mountain" just sounds like a prolonged set-up for "Serpent," and "Phantom Limb" is sometimes more clamor than clarity. Like its predecessor, Tarot Sport is an act of patience that pays back the time you actively spend with it. (www.fuckbuttons.co.uk)

Author rating: 6/10

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