Back in the days of Kling Klang and Telescope Mind, San Francisco punk-dance power source Tussle got down to the bare bones and nitty gritty of primal house. As if struck by an epiphany telling them that a myriad of effects lies beyond their basement-jam bass and drum formula, Tempest takes their sound out of a two dimensional clench. While their bass scales and drums thumped with caveman command remain, the assistance of JD Twitch means freestyled and improvised meetings with pedals and knobs warms to a scuzzy, post-Cream Cuts psychedelica.
Tussle’s appeal through a scorn for sound levels and keeping inside the lines, now has “Moondog” and “Yellow Lighter” seeing brightness and opportunities. It’s still raw and funky, stubborn and chisel-cheeked, but better rounded, and that’s not to say they’ve become all musician either. They’re trying new things out, letting instinct guide them and making things fit. “Cat Pirate” fills the sound bed with as much old skool computer hardware as it can handle as if holding up a thrift store — the beat goes on while Tussle ask what does this button do, and what happens when they slide this lever. “P44” is DIY disco with a siphon of funk confusion, like rock stars snorting moondust, and “Eye Context” is the punk-funk getting harder and slicker. A change for the better, all while still shaggily throwing instruments around.
File under: Optimo, Liquid, Gang Gang Dance