DJ TAN'T, LONG HALLWAYS, QUIET COUNTRIES
(East End, 203 SE Grand) For his new record, Paul Lynch—also known as DJ Tan't—plundered Led Zeppelin's drum tracks from the 1978 sessions for their In through the Out Door album, recorded at ABBA's (at the time) brand-new, state-of-the-art Polar Studios in Stockholm. John Bonham's undeniable beats form the backbone of DJ Tan't's The Bonham Diaries, an eight-song concept album with Lynch overlaying synthesizers on top of the drum tracks via Ableton. It's true that Bonham's drumming casts an immense shadow—"Fool in the Rain" might be one of the few songs in recorded history that anyone on the street can recognize by its drum track alone—but Lynch has created something interesting and heavy, much more than a curio for Zeppelin fanatics. Tonight Lynch plays with drummer Will Hattman, who takes over the drum throne from the late Bonham to provide in-the-flesh backbeats for The Bonham Diaries' live rendition.
DJ Tan't took some of John Bonham's isolated drum tracks from Led Zeppelin's
In through the Out Door sessions—done in ABBA's Polar Studios in 1978—and
added his own original synth melodies on top. The result is The Bonham
Diaries, which Tan't releases it digitally as a free download tomorrow.
Take a listen to the album opener, "Day One," which repurposes the very
familiar drumbeat from "Fool in the Rain." The result sounds very little
like Zeppelin, an admirable feat considering how dominant Bonham's drum
- NED LANNAMANN
It's been six years since DJ Tan't (that's short for Tantrum) released Notes of Abrasion, and his new joint Mega Bloks is aptly named. Chunky, day-glo building blocks of sound are clicked and locked together to form thick beats—some that have the elasticity of hiphop and others the rigidity of chiptune. Tan't is the alter ego of Paul Lynch, who's filled the gap since Notes of Abrasion by working on his other projects, (((In Mono))) and Headphone Party. But Mega Bloks sees Lynch corralling a formidable list of Portland talent—including Sophie Vitells, Oh, and the ubiquitous Papi Fimbres—into an album that's playful, bright, and with surprising nuance, like a model city made out of toys that, on closer examination, reveals exhaustive and exacting detail.
- NED LANNAMANN
Modern Fix Magazine
Aug '07 issue #56
With his second release, DJ Tan’t offers up a remarkable
selection of self produced audio treats that blur the lines between drum
n’ bass and hip hop. For the hip hop enthusiast, there are tracks that
offer the kicks and snares in their purest form. When he begins to explore
the realm of drum n’ bass, this is where he really begins to stand out.
In the blink of an eye, DJ Tan’t can feverishly swing from somber piano
keys to funky drums and snares to thrilling bass patterns. His full range
as a producer shines intensely on this set.
DJ Verb, Ground Lift Magazine
DJ Tan't's label is called Dismal City, which I can only imagine is a
reference to his hometown. I was in Portland once, and I thought it was
utterly delightful. It was sunny for me that day, but I can picture things
being pretty dreary if it was rainy and overcast. Seemingly a tribute
to his dismal city, Notes of Abrasion is a fine collection of moody, instrumental
beats that aren't afraid to break from the abstract hip-hop formula. In
other words, he's influenced as much by Prefuse 73 as DJ Shadow, who is
the obvious reference point. The album-opening "On the Gallows"
features raps by Sleepyhead, but after that the beats are refreshingly
rap-free. Surging downbeat leviathans like "Lollipop" are largely
the order of the day, but they are pleasant interspersed with more imaginative,
upbeat affairs like the unpredictable, Daedelus-esque "Daughter of
Wolves" and the excellent "Concerto Red," which pairs percussive,
experimental piano loops with grimy breakbeats. "Mercury Breeze"
is another nice surprise, with its slow, dubbed-out groove that somehow
morphs into a rolling breakbeat burner complete with old Casio drum sounds.
Other highlights include the epic, atmospheric "Jasmine in Blue"
and the somber, near-beatless "Tom the Waiter." Anyone can make
beats, but it takes an artist to flip sounds into something fresh and
adventurous. Tan't has got the skills and the ideas; hopefully he'll be
getting some much-deserved shine on his dismal city once word gets out
about this joint.
Willamette Week, Local Cut July '06
Last winter, the Lucky Madison record label got a national distribution
deal and had to cut some of the acts from its roster. DJ Tan'T,
a.k.a. Paul Lynch, was one of ‘em. That's a damn shame: dude
is seriously one of the best rising talents of electronic music in Portland.
It's one of the first names that serious heads like Marius Libman
(Copy) or David Chandler (Solenoid) drop when you ask about the future
of the scene here. This track is off Tan'T's upcoming disc
Notes of Abrasion, and it's straight-up DJ Alias style. Two minutes
of wandering piano solo finds the perfect measure to drop in a beat, and
a half-minute later Sleepyhead joins in with some razor-sharp anglo-rap
a la Telephone Jim Jesus or 13 & God. Sweet.
Michael Byrne, Willamette Week July '06
Give a 4-year-old kid a pair of turntables, and Paul Lynch is what might
happen. Performing as DJ Tan't, Tantrum and (((in mono))), Lynch possesses
production-whiz fingertips and a give-a-fuck-less attitude on self-promotion
that could put him on stage at Holocene as easily as in a dank basement
for a crowd of five. Tours? Nah. Singles? Nope. Label whoring? Only if
the label's the whore (not to imply that there's anything whorish about
his current label, Dismal City). Add all that to the fact that Lynch plays
under three monikers—Tantrum is Tan't with a band and (((in mono))) is
indie-rockified Tan't (occasionally performed, in epic fashion, with Leb
Borgerson of Quiet Countries)—and he is begging to stay in the underground,
working for "cake and punch," 4-year-old style.
But then again, you don't drop a record like Notes of
Abrasion (Dismal City) and expect to stay buried. The disc is proper.
It's the sort of album DJ Alias might have done four years ago, before
he found violins and pretty vocals: often dark, effected and glitchy,
but never ditching the party. The vocals on the record—Tan't's second
full-length—are delivered by Sleepyhead, an emcee who also calls local
hip-hop label Dismal City home. He rhymes briefly on one of the disc's
highs, "On the Gallows," an unlikely jam of crushing beat and mini piano
concerto. It's good company.
Portland, Oregon's DJ Tan't (Paul Lynch, also known as Tantrum)
throws one big and beautiful fit on Notes of Abrasion, his new breakbeat
opus and sophomore LP. Combining DJ Shadow's atmospheric drama,
Amon Tobin's frenetic rhythms and back-alley noir, and M83's
widescreen grandeur, Abrasionby turns pummels and soothes, bloodying listeners
with titanic drum barrages before applying the salve of a serene synth
wash or haunted piano refrain. The piano in particular plays a central
role in many tracks; while sampler maestro Tan't uses ample appropriated
sound in his beat productions (check the roughing-up given Ralph Vaugh
Williams on Computer Eyes), live drum, bass,
and especiallycourtesy of Tyler Evanspiano parts figure
heavily in the mix. Concerto Red, a fierce drum-and-piano
workout, stands among the album's highlights.
Legend has it that Tan't began his DJing career
at the age of three, when he was given two Fisher Price turntableswhich
he soon broke in his first fit of musical fury. Stints playing guitar
in the bands Carpathia and Only Connect during college and DJing at college
radio stations in Western Washington and Upstate New York followed. After
relocating to Portland, Tan't developed his love of hip hop,jungle,
and other forms of breakbeat into the luscious aural assault thatarmed
with trusty MPC,Yamaha keyboard, Megabox toy drum machine, and Loop Stationhe
regularly delivers to audiences. He self-released his first LP, tantalize.tantric.tantrum.,
in 2003 and contributed a sublime remix of Alan Singley's On
Leaving to Holocene Music's remix compilation It's
Important to Me to be One Step Further than One Step Beyond
. In addition
to an upcoming gig with Dabrye, Tan't has also played with DJ Krush,
Sole, Alias, DJ Vadim, Themselves, Luke Vibert, Plaid, Subtle, Hood, Chris
Clark, Sixtoo, DJ Signify, Why?, Clue to Kalo, Jel, Blockhead, and DJ
Spun from the indigenous web of human-born DJ?s is the Portland-based
sultan of spin, DJ TAN'T. The music of TAN'T moves onto the arduous art
of turntable-based looping alongside MPC-based mash ups. Live, TAN'T combines
his spastic short-span hip hop beat structure with an ear on the pulse
Aaron Goeglein, The Portland Mercury Jan'06
DJ Tan't, who puts all those no-count, no-skill, hipster DJs to shame.
All of 'em. Shaaamed.