Tomer Baruch is an Israeli interdisciplinary musician, currently based in the Netherlands, in Den Haag, where he studied at the Institute of Sonology. For the last decade he has been playing extensively across both Israel and the Netherlands releasing two albums with the instrumental power trio CRuNCH 22, both published on Tel Aviv based label “Audio Montage”, and performing with the afrobeat-noise Stoka Ensemble. Much less focused on the exploration of an individual genre, he rather aimed at a broader exploration of sound and its emotional effects upon the players and the listeners. After that, he’s been going further along this strand with multiple experimental music projects, ranging from electro-acoustic to a unique brand of funk/noise.
Subterranean Currents is his latest record, where he shifts towards ambient music. The name of the record, Subterranean Currents, is strictly connected to the groundwater, not only in its absolute meaning, but also in Tomer’s memories.
“On me, the word groundwater provokes a sense of nostalgia. Israel is a dry country and most of its water comes from the aquifer: a layer of water in the ground that is held in the cavities of the limestone. When I was growing up, I remember the aquifer being all over the news, with frequent updates or warnings about the level of the water. I used to think of it as a huge system of underground lakes and ponds and rivers, but then I discovered it’s really just a layer of moist rock. The name Subterranean currents comes from this delusional image of mysterious underground rivers. This network of intertwining subterranean currents, each with its own magnitude and medium, forms a wondrous image which my mind can not properly grasp. I can not see the overall image, only its parts; and in a way these currents running through my mind brings me back to a “made-up-nostalgia”, missing something that never was”.
The music of Subterranean Currents is based on a self-programmed system for real-time sampling and processing, fed with sample toys, Casio keyboards and vintage organs. The creative process is therefore split in two parts, each one bringing different elements to the music. The first element is nostalgia, conveyed by using instruments from decades ago, obsolete in their design and out of fashion, and yet capable of triggering Tomer’s creativity. These sound streams are then channeled through the digital system which actually creates the final result: everything sounds liquid, either soaked in water, or immersed in it. It’s spacious, layered music. Synths shine above and below the surface of the water, and rhythms follow unpredictable patterns and conflicting flows, which continuously surprise the listener.