After a pair of singles on Border Community, new Chilean on the block Ricardo Tobar jumps to the Traum stable for a three-tracker that fuses some distinctly rocking sounds with traditional minimal beats. Tobar has shown a propensity to utilize interesting sources on his previous outings, and there's no shortage of them this time out either.
A-side "La Otra Playa" wraps its stop-start beat work in a thick sheath of analog noise that wouldn't sound out of place on a Stereolab or Spacemen 3 recording. The juxtaposition works well, as Tobar moves the knobs adventurously enough to keep what basically amounts to a drone interesting; part of it is his percussion, which is steady and driving without being too flashy, and part of it is the variety of filters and twists he applies to the drone itself. Tobar also adds a few mini-breakdowns that should pay off well on the floor. Jocks looking to add a little roughage to their sets should eat this up.
The title track, on the other hand, swaps the electronic buzz for some psyched-out guitar wankery, and though the beats are a tad more intriguing, the whole thing falls a bit flat. Whereas the wall of noise on "La Otra Playa" provided a steady shot of adrenaline, here it's a bit leaden and stiff. Closer "Escalera a Central" is a more straightforward minimal thing, pinned by a bubble-wrap-popping percussion riff, some dark chords and analog burbles. Likely a useful tool in the box, but nothing to write home about.
Tobar is still a pup—a 23-year-old music student—and so one must presume he still is learning, but he certainly is off to a promising start. With a bit more seasoning, his big ideas could pay off in a big way. For now, however, he's got a ways to go before he supplants that other Chilean with the same first name.
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Tracklist: Ricardo Tobar - With You A1 La Otra Playa
B1 With You
B2 Escalera A Central