Tabs Out | Tatras – Yerevan

Tatras – Yerevan
3.2.18 by Ryan Masteller

“Ararat” begins “Yerevan” by Tatras with fifteen minutes of creaking timbers, like those of a large wooden vessel on an endless empty sea. Not unlike those, in fact, of the ark, the ship God directed Noah to build to weather the totally real and not fake at all biblical flood. In the ark’s hold dwelt two of every animal, male and female, so that Noah and his menagerie could populate the earth again after the floodwaters receded. I bet those animals were getting totally freaky cooped up in there. Aww, yeah.

Ararat is the mountain in present-day Turkey where the ark supposedly and finally ran aground, thus tying my narrative nicely together. For years scholars have speculated on the whereabouts of the ark, even going so far as to provide photographic evidence, like this, or this, or this surprising and astonishing and absolutely true image. In this one you can actually see Noah’s head after he and God decided to move the ark elsewhere for safe keeping.

Tatras is a little more serious than I am, imagining that ancient sea, the tension of one superstitious man not knowing whether he’ll survive the ordeal. “Ararat” is gripping in its stasis, its gently rocking ambience a reminder of upheaval and destruction.

And there are other tracks too, mountain-y ones even: “Vardenis” is named after a town near the Vardenis mountain range, located close to the Armenian capital of Yerevan, which … hey, that’s the name of the album! “Gndasar” is also named after an Armenian mountain, Gndasar Lerrnagagat’, and Tatras, the very name of this project, was itself inspired by the range separating Slovakia from Poland.

“Chatin” is, what, Chatin Sarachi I guess? He was an Albanian painter.

So there you have it – some history, some geography, some intense cassette-based sound art. You never know what you’re in for at the old Tabs Out Podcast website.

Tatras crafts compositions like cloud formations among all these Eastern European and North Asian mountains, mysterious to us awestruck and faraway westerners. Listening to “Yerevan” is like traveling to the far reaches of the world in your mind. The tape itself features beautiful artwork and comes with a thick cardstock o-wrap. Edition of 25 from Knoxville’s Park 70, its only release on a sparse Bandcamp page.

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