Bloom’s Taxonomy’s Bitter Lake

Both minimalistic and throttling where it actually counts, the bass parts that we find scattered throughout the six songs in Bloom’s Taxonomy’s Bitter Lake are undeniably agents of evocation when we’re least expecting them to be. Similarly to the percussive element, but not nearly as great in value in the big picture here, the bottom-end bumpiness to songs like “Taurus-Littrow” and “Balconies” is a statement-maker, informing us of just how profound a musicianship Bloom’s Taxonomy is wrestling with in these recording sessions. Bitter Lake is an EP that stokes the flame of old fashioned electronica with an ambient postmodernism I had feared fleeting in the international underground, and in my opinion, it’s a fantastic way of getting to know its creator this dewy spring season.


The percussion is pretty loud in the mix of the title track and “Burgess Park,” and even though its isn’t quite as searing in the song “Love and Grace Machine,” I think its use as a bugger between the more jarring components here was brilliant from the get-go. Though some of his contemporaries might have been quick to insert a little more room between the instruments in all three of the aforementioned compositions, I totally understand what Bloom’s Taxonomy was trying to achieve in going this route instead. With as tight a sound as he’s unloading into this material, he can’t be accused of trying to relive the same rhythms past electronica icons once embraced, and these days, that’s half the battle with the alternative music press.

I would have rounded out the tracklist here with “Burgess Park” over the sexy “Balconies,” but aside from that, I think the conceptual flow of this extended play puts it on a higher tier than any of his Bloom’s Taxonomy’s peers can sit upon at the moment. “Spominiks” gets everything started with a horror movie-style ambience that I don’t see myself forgetting before the year has come to a conclusion, and from there forward, we’re always waiting, anticipating whatever firebomb of sonic creativity is going to come around the next bend. I wouldn’t call this progressive ambient per say, but there’s definitely a more grandiose narrative in play in Bitter Lake that I think we’re going to be hearing a lot more of the next time this artist enters the studio to record.

Overall, Bloom’s Taxonomy shows off a lot of incredible growth in Bitter Lake, and his potential moving forward is no longer a debatable subject. Songs like “Spominiks,” “Balconies” and “Love and Grace Machine” don’t follow a traditional road map, but instead are born of a creative ambition that you just can’t find every day in this business. There’s no question that this is one of the more evocative ambient EPs you’re likely to get ahold of before the month of May expires, and though it probably won’t be the lone hit Bloom’s Taxonomy submits in this decade, it’s the tone-setter that none of us even knew we needed for sure. Simply put, this is premium listening for experimental fans of all ages.

Michael Rand 

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