What’s the best way to handle a mallet instrument? Maybe hit it with a nice broad piece of wood, all the better to get some solid tone out of those hard metal or wood bars. Maybe with a drumstick, for some pointillist sense of economy. Maybe with something soft and pillowy, all the better to summon up dozy, dulcet sounds.
Well, how about treating that same vibraphone with a sampler? That’s the modus operandi at work on the new teamup of Karaoke Tundra and Luke Warm, “Miss Testosterone,” from the surrealmadrid.net netlabel. It’s an upbeat, single-track release, one that gently takes the inherently momentum-infused vibraphone and glitches it up just enough to make it sparkle (MP3).
One of the things that makes a vibes performance so captivating is that tightrope tension, the question as to whether the performer can keep all those rolls, trills and thrills going; what the Tundra/Warm duo has done is let accidents happen, these little fritz-outs and short circuits that give the track an energy all its own.