The Tin Box :: Invisible Kin (Audiobulb)

In fact barely a tone here is jangling or discordant—everything is focused, intricate and direct. Invisible Kin’s sound has its roots in Autechre’s easier material, or Boards of Canada’s more upbeat and uptempo productions.

The Tin Box is a solo project by US composer Tucker Sferro. Sferro is something of a rarity when it comes to electronic production: beforehand he was a brass player in a jazz ensemble who’s transformed into an electronic producer. Invisible Kin is The Tin Box’s fifth release and it lives up to Sferro’s own musical history. This is a composer who knows his stuff. Very well. Invisible Kin is a record that’s been made feeling steady in a stream of optimism, complexity and intimacy.

In fact barely a tone here is jangling or discordant—everything is focused, intricate and direct. Invisible Kin’s sound has its roots in Autechre’s easier material, or Boards of Canada’s more upbeat and uptempo productions.

Opener, “Far Away Spaces” is somewhat of a false starter, with an edgy synth leading in melody. Things get delicate on the second track “Wellspring Unlimited,” with glass sounding melodies alongside intricate synth patterns creating a ruminative play in harmony. Invisible Kin has abrasive moments too, the big bending baseline of “Metropolis One” gives the record a muscular groove despite its restful being. “Twins Ecstatic” has pure intentions but distorted sequencing.

A repetitive trait in Sferro’s composition style is that he uses pattern-based-MIDI-sequencing leading all the tracks. A line found in Invisible Kin’s press release is how the sound is occupied with “mathematical models of probability… and how this weaves a component of chance into his compositions” and when we think how Sferro uses pattern-based-sequencers to make music this is an insightful description. The description translates to a loose and natural vibe, in the face of controlled electronically designed music. Sferro used to play in jazz ensembles—chance and improvisation are fundamentals of jazz and they’re also fundamentals of Invisible Kin too.

Given the confidence shown by Sferro in Invisible Kin, it’s tempting to see this release as a beginning chapter to a project where his sound can evolve into a thrilling new form. This record communicates and expresses so clearly: joy.

Invisible Kin is available on Audiobulb.

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