Electro-rockers Tiger Mendoza have been descending into darker industrial hip hop of late, but their (or rather his, this release’s incarnation effectively being a solo project) new EP Along Dangerous Roads, a collaboration with ex-Eeebleee and Witches chap and latterly solo artist David Griffiths, draws on both parties’ influences of computer game music and soundtracks – with a quite hypnotic result.
Now That Days Are Colder is a synthesis of rhythm and orchestra on a claustrophobic scale, like a mini-Hybrid. This theme continues in the swooping violin-led title track, which is punctuated by frenetic, impatient beats and descends into snipped-up nu-skool breaks like it’s the turn of the millennium again and Adam Freeland will be along any minute to remix the hell out of it.
In Desperate Times is a Bedouin-flavoured heavy soundclash that would serve an espionage thriller well, and Eating Crayons is archetypal first-person shooter video game music: an Orb-like pulsating drone with bleeps that takes you through a dimly-lit shipwrecked spacecraft on an unfamiliar planet, stalking pursuing aliens.
On the one non-instrumental, Literature and Life, David’s hushed and measured vocals are underpinned by a plaintive cello while percussion batters around them. The slow and steady resultant tension is palpable.
Home Is The Sailor is reminiscent of ambient electronica proponent Ulrich Schnauss with its relentless drifting of beats above layers of strings. The beats remain delicate as the strings are joined by grinding guitar in a compelling juxtaposition of the whimsical and the sinister.
While video game and film soundtracks work with the visuals and action to consolidate the experience for the player or viewer, these tracks tell stories themselves; melody and mood combine into something evocative and compelling.