The six tracks that make up Rrose’s latest EP, Tulip Space, fit together like a puzzle that doesn’t resemble the image on the box. Expectations be damned.

When I hit play on A Row of Cylinders, the EP’s pounding opening track, the first words that came to mind were ‘dark and nasty’. I imagined using my finger to write those words into the sweat of a matte black wall inside a concrete underground club. This track reminds you of why you’re different, why you want to stand out. The track’s centerpiece is a crawling, ever-evolving, snake-like, bass-drive that belongs in a place far, far away from the drab normalcy of everyday life.

In stark contrast the second track, Squared, is a peaceful comedown that quickly becomes a satisfying intermission. Its glitchy plastic petals evoke classic Plastikman, with an ambient twist, sending you drifting down an alien stream. Rrose smartly tinkers with panning effects here, hypnotizing your mind into believing you’re waiting for something. It evokes a broken video game’s loading screen, stuck in a beautiful scratch-core blip-loop. Frozen in time. Anticipating what’s to come.

Place of Matter is a jangly, spiraling groove. My second favorite track of the EP. Layered with rich, break-beat high hats and an ever-changing central synth, it’s a stubbornly slow piece of electronic music. Covered in a warm grit, it pulses with filmic cool. It chops at you with that iconic 80s synth-fuel, associated with dark LA freeways, and the ominous helicopters of Blade Runner. I don’t smoke, but it makes me want to go outside and smoke a cigarette under a gigantic LCD screen, while police sirens wail in the distance.

In Place of Mortar actually has more in common with Squared, than its name would imply. Rrose takes us back to that plastic ambient scratch-core theme, but this time adding an air of darkness. Falling drones and an ever-present, wired hum, evoke a sense of melancholy and introspection as if you’re trapped on a distant, dystopian farm out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the dark night’s fog keeping you sane.

The EP concludes with two alternates for In Place of Matter, and it’s back to the carved out Blade Runner synths.

The Half Life version bounces like a heavy black lead ball in thick syrup. It lulls you with those stubbornly slow synths until its half way point when its rusty high hats wake up and deliver the change in gear you’ve been unknowingly craving. It reaches its sleepy and brilliant climax with the reverberated, dusty energy of a giant robot wading through clouds of iron soot.

But it’s the final track that levels up the EP in a way I wasn’t expecting. It’s almost as if I was asking Rrose for a higher BPM, and in the Mixed Matter version she delivers, providing patient listeners not only with a BPM increase, but a satisfying pitch up as well. My favorite track on the EP. This third version of In place of Matter renders a futuristic, dystopian atmosphere with another haunting and dreamy synth pulse. Its evocative sound design creates a rich and immersive soundscape.

Overall, Tulip Space showcases Rrose’s impressive creativity and talent in crafting experimental electronic music that pushes the boundaries of traditional genre conventions and highlights his skill in crafting atmospheric and emotional music.

The EP is available on Rrose’s Bandcamp on vinyl and digital form, as well as other main stores for streaming.

Published by with unique-ID №2737
Written by Paul Forte on 23 February 2023

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