Mastery in sonic textures
Yves Tumor’s soundscapes know no limit. Merging and expanding noisy electronica, glam rock, Britpop and hip-hop, Yves Tumor never shies away from bold sonic choices. This quality shines through in his latest full-length effort: Heaven To A Tortured Mind. Constantly pairing aggressive sound collages with thrilling and sensual vocal performances, the album moves on from Tumor’s ambient past releases and transforms him into an uninhibited rockstar.
Tumor’s maximalist compositions unite structure and chaos. The stunning opener, “Gospel For A New Century,” sets a precedence for the album. With a funky bass line, laid-back indie rock drums and shocking, accented synth brass, the song’s groove is infectious. Tumor’s electrifying vocal performance rides on top of the beat with an undeniable swagger. “Medicine Burn,” “Dream Palette” and “Identity Trade” all continue the groove with an added intensity. Every instrumental line is active and busy, competing with each other for attention at many points. However, the impeccable mixing throughout the album strikes a balance between wildly different and densely layered musical textures, highlighting the structure in Tumor’s elaborate soundscape to create a forward motion in his phrasings that add a transcendent intensity. “Folie Imposée” best displays this quality. The otherworldly production perfectly blends the clashing, distorted, experimental, fragmented electronic soundscape with the subtle dreamy vocals, creating an exhilarating sonic experience.
While the sound collages are constant, the album never gets dull because of Tumor’s varied and bold vocal performances, showcasing his range as a musician. From the throaty screaming in “Medicine Burns” to the light and dreamy falsetto in “Strawberry Privilege” and the wonderfully layered baritone in “Identity Trade,” Tumor’s versatile voice is expressive in every register, elevating the emotional range of the tracklist. Tumor’s guest vocalists in “Kerosene!” and “Dream Palette” do not steal attention but rather bring their energy for Tumor to feed off of, enhancing the musical sensuality and vocal textures in these tracks and highlight his performance even more.
The title, Heaven To A Tortured Mind, perfectly reflects the music. Beginning and ending abruptly, Every track seems like a fragment in the mind of a tortured genius. Yet these fragments come together to make a thrilling musical experience. Compared to previous records, Tumor highlights his own voice and presence more on this album. With boldness and confidence seeping from every track, Heaven To A Tortured Mind is Yves Tumor’s proclamation of his own stardom.