According to V I S, the label behind Tennō, C use "analogue sound generators, from tape machines, filters, self-made physical resonators, synthesizers, drum machines, as well as the human voice" to create their music. Where one source ends and another begins is suitably hazy, with greater emphasis placed on the logic of how one sound suggests the quality and placement of another. Like the label's previous release, from Scheich In China, it's perhaps more appropriate to consider these three works as environments rather than tracks or even compositions.
Guttural murmurs and decaying sweeps set the scene in "Geroll," but an incongruous hip-hop break lumbers into view under the cloak of a low-pass filter. We're kept in a horizontal holding pattern, as the faded electronics continue to search out the edges of their confined parameters, sidestepping the catharsis of development and resembling something more like an organism. It's not trying to charm you, content to exist in its own world, but it makes for music with greater longevity than seems immediately apparent. "Diphtongues" underpins similar scurrying electronics with a totemic drone and incantatory chant and chatter, creating a much more loaded and arresting atmosphere than the A-side.
The title track is the shortest of the lot and has the most interesting sounds. A chopped-up clatter of mangled acoustic signals are sucked in and out of a slurpy filter while other samples are compressed in time, forming whirring zip lines of audio. A cursory listen might make Tennō seem self-effacing but there's real character and power to it. The B-side in particular can sound revelatory when pumped at high volume through a dark room.