Here is another fantastic review from We Are Cult (magazine) regarding tenek’s ‘Smoke and Mirrors – Instrumental′ which was released via Bandcamp as of November 6th, 2020. A big thank you to Ange Chan! – tenek and crew
❉ Ange Chan speaks with Tenek about revisiting 2015’s ‘Smoke & Mirrors’.
Here is a fantastic review from The Electricity Club regarding tenek’s ‘Smoke and Mirrors – Instrumental′ that is re-released via Bandcamp as of November 6th, 2020. A big thank you to Paul Browne and Jus Forrest.
Things are not what they seem…
Having just covered the very recent re-release of Tenek’s EP2 at TEC, it’s a welcome surprise to see yet more material spouting from the archives of the electronica duo that is Geoff Pinckney and Peter Steer. This time, they’ve done things slightly differently, however. Celebrating the 5th anniversary of 2015’s highly acclaimed Smoke and Mirrors album, the duo has opted to release an all instrumental version of the original standout record.
An obvious point with this album, is a work that is massively characterised by some of the most exceptional and catchy bass playing you’ll ever hear in this genre. It gives a real sense of fluid movement. And not only that, it takes on all forms, with variation throughout, and in some cases occupying centre stage. It would appear that in short, Smoke and Mirrors is all about the groove – and if you didn’t think bass could be so interesting, then I urge you to take a listen. Much like everything I’ve encountered by Tenek, the quality of sound and production is superior to many, and in the case of this particular album, placement of some of those key, and indeed catchy basslines, are perfectly positioned within the mix – delivering maximum punch, so to speak. It’s a pure listening pleasure.
In its virtuous instrumental form, Smoke and Mirrors is a very different vehicle to the one that’s been heard previously. The eleven weighty tracks loan themselves to a supernatural soundtrack – one that journeys to somewhere dark, decadent and is sometimes racy. It’s content, while being varied, offers synergies in various energetic forces. Alongside the aforementioned grooves, there are daring elements to the guitars, that blend seamlessly to the expressive and melodic strengths that emanate from the synths, and not least, there’s a great natural drum sound that contributes nicely to knitting the whole soundtrack experience together. It isn’t really a track by track album – least not in this format, more so, it’s a heightened listening experience, the individual tracks acting as stop-off points, and showcasing different themes, directions, and moods.
Artwork and Design by Cheri Freund. Cover art initially conceived by Greg Rolfes.
We have some interesting release news for you! On Friday 6th November we will be releasing something a little different for us which is an instrumental version of our 3rd album ‘Smoke & Mirrors‘.
Several people had mentioned the idea to us and when we had the album mastered by Justin Weis at Trakworx in San Francisco back in 2015, we also had the tracks mastered as instrumentals as a useful tool for getting the music put forward for inclusion in TV and films in the future. Listening back to them recently, it became apparent that they stand up extremely well as pieces of music in their own right. Of course, it may not be of interest to those who prefer the vocal versions but we thought it would be a nice option. There is also a fab alternative cover which has been given a new twist by Cheri Freund for this release. There will be no pre-release instead, it will become available immediately on Friday 6th November as that is the next available ‘Bandcamp Friday’ where BC waive their revenue share to assist musicians in these difficult and strange times. We’d also like to thank you for supporting the recent EP2 re-release, it was very encouraging to see and hear so many people discover and enjoy the songs! We hope you are all well and enjoy the instrumental album.
Back in 2017, we finally managed to get our back catalogue returned to us from Toffeetones Records who we’d been signed to from 2008 until 2012. Most of our material from that period has now been re-released on all digital platforms. However, my own personal favourite EP has not been available yet so it’s definitely overdue.
The long-awaited and critically acclaimed ‘EP2‘ has been brought back from the tenek vault!
September 2020 brings the re-release of tenek’s second EP, ‘EP2’ [originally released by Toffeetones in October 2011] but has not been available on any digital platform since 2017. This EP has now been made available once again to the public in DIGITAL format ONLY via the band’s imprint label (Alien Six Productions).
In my last blog I wrote about the writing and recording process of the album. But that was just one part of all that was going on regarding Tenek in 2010 and also 2011 which proved to be a pivotal year for the band.
I remember “On the Wire” came together pretty quickly and contained a lot of influences – Nine Inch Nails, Nitzer Ebb, Cabaret Voltaire, Thomas Dolby, Ultravox to name a few.
My Waldorf Blofeld was used a lot throughout the album. I bought it to use live when touring with Mesh. It’s a small unit, but has a massive sound and the wavetable type synthesis gave the sounds a nice edge. Which I don’t doubt added to the 80’s vibe that runs throughout this album.
So as we prepare to re-issue ‘Stateless’ nine years from it’s original date of release I thought I should write a proper blog about the album, how it came about and what the album means to me personally.
Things have been pretty quiet on the tenek front for a few months as both Geoff and myself work on other projects such as ‘Silent Unseen Productions‘ and as many of you know I’m currently working with Bristol band ‘Sinestar‘ in the studio and also live too. But we have been busy behind the scenes with preparations for the back catalogue re-releases that we have planned for 2018.
I thought it was about time for another blog regarding the band and what’s been happening as we’ve received quite a few enquiries about the future of Tenek. Most recently we’ve been concentrating on the preparations for our 10th Anniversary show at the Dave Charles Extravaganza at Market Harborough which we performed at last weekend.
Photo by Andrew Garley
Firstly, we’d like to thank everyone that came down to support us and all the other bands at the event. It really was such an honour to headline on Friday night alongside Rainland, John Costello and Dancing With Ruby. All are good friends of ours and we’ve shared the stage with them all at various shows/events over the years. The whole weekend was a fantastic celebration with a lovely atmosphere and it was also a great way for everyone to come together and thank Dave for all his support in the 10 years that he has been broadcasting his legendary Sunday night show from HFM.