New Music from Tets​ü​o ii

Category: music 105

NB Noise Brigade co-founder Dave Duval returns with Tets​ü​o ii, a new project full of sonic narratives and his most refined and deceivingly complex compositions to date.

Matt Carter 

Between 2017 and 2021, the Fredericton based experimental music label NB Noise Brigade released a number of albums and EPs by a handful of New Brunswick noise makers. Focusing primarily on drone and dark ambient textures, NBNB offered a home to groups and projects you have probably never heard of. Zeit, Black Candles, Women of the Pore and Vault of Terrors all released music through the label as digital downloads and occasional limited edition cassettes that placed a strong emphasis on conjuring dark, creepy moods – the kind of thing guaranteed to give you nightmares. 

Although the label has been on hiatus since March of 2021, many of the people involved over that four year period have continued to make and release their own work.  Like NBNB co-founder Dave Duval. His latest collection arrived yesterday, just in time for Halloween. 

Duval describes his latest project – Tets​ü​o ii – as sounding like, “a bunch of fridges breaking down in a wind tunnel.” But in reality, it is anything but. Or perhaps, much more. Like much of his previous work (Zeit and Black Candles specifically), Tets​ü​o ii resides within a category of music that will be unfamiliar to many listeners, unless of course your jam is movie soundtracks, humming machines and fridges breaking down in wind tunnels. But beauty, just like music, takes countless forms. And there are some beautiful moments on this self-titled debut.

Most of Duval’s projects have a certain similarity in mood that runs between them all, each distinguished primarily by their instrumental tone. But it is fair to say Tets​ü​o ii, in addition to introducing new sonic textures to his work, presents some of Duval’s most refined and deceivingly complex compositions to date. The edges are smoother, the minimalism more extreme, and each track’s development seems to happen in such a way that by the time you catch what happened, the tones have faded and the next track is beginning.  

Wight and Slough are two standout compositions from Tets​ü​o ii. The first is as minimalist as they come, and best compared to a drive through New Brunswick. There isn’t a lot to look at but at the same time, there is an underlying comfort to it all. You recognise nothing and everything at the same time. The “be in this place” vibes are strong on Wight

Slough best defines the album as a whole with textures so rich and a storyline so prevalent. The development is slow and steady and undeniable. Unmistakable for anything other than a complete narrative experience. 

Tets​ü​o ii was released October 31. But don’t be fooled into thinking this album is some kind of Halloween novelty. Tets​ü​o ii deserves more. 

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