Tides marked a radical change in direction for Arovane. After Uwe Zahn had made a name for himself with cutting-edge IDM rhythms and slick ambient textures on a slew of releases, his sophomore album saw the prolific producer opt for a sample-based approach that resulted in a more organic sound and laid-back downbeat grooves. Having reissued Arovane's seminal Atol-Scrap as a double-LP in 2021, the Berlin-based Keplar label now makes Tides available on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 2000 through the legendary City Centre Offices.
It shines a new light on a release for which Zahn quite literally ventured into previously unknown territory -- Tides is an album that emits a timeless, quiet calm and nonetheless stays constantly in motion. Inspired by the landscape of France, especially the coastline and the sea, he made field recordings throughout his trip that were also used on the record, giving it its sensual feel.
The foundation of the album however, the loose yet gripping grooves at the heart of every track, result from Zahn working extensively with samples. "I wanted to make use of drum sounds and small excerpts from old jazz vinyl records", he explains. He maintained the unique sound signatures and rhythmic flutter of the source material while building intricate beats with them. Most of the material was culled from the record collection of Christian Kleine, whose spontaneous guitar improvisations over the first musical sketches were recorded and edited by Zahn and can be heard on four tracks. Also employing the occasional cembalo or spinet sound, he worked with a hardware sequencer and a delay to integrate the different, discrete elements into nine tracks that feel both dense and light at once. Silence was also an important stylistic element on Tides and adds greatly to the overall atmosphere of an album that with the appropriately named "Theme" immediately sets the mood with intricate spinet melodies.
As a whole, the album mirrors Zahn's trip that took him along the steep cliffs on a foggy day ("Seaside"), to an abandoned house in which he found old maps ("A Secret"), along the coastline during a long car ride ("Deauville"), to a sleepy village and the slowly moving sea ("Tides") and finally back home to his native Germany where he started reflecting upon his experiences, ultimately deciding to translate them into music ("Epilogue"). Originally released on CCO in 2000. Remaster and cut by Kassian Troyer at Dubplates & Mastering. Cover art by Jim Kühnel based on a photograph by Uwe Zahn. Die-cut sleeve; poly-lined inners; includes download code.