Review: Tossapol – P (self-released, Feb 1)

I have previously written about the many ways digital-age artists are able to both preserve and reimagine the extreme, enthralling obscurity that once seemed exclusive to physical music, tiny homemade cassette editions or made-to-order CD-Rs that pass from ear to ear via record store bargain bins. Bangkok corner-lurker Tossapol first came to my attention with their short EP Plate back in March of last year, which I think I found while scouring the page for the “objects” tag on Bandcamp. P, however, is much, much more than just a novel curiosity (not to imply that any the project’s previous material was “just” that either). It rivals Tossapol’s past releases in its diminutivity, comprising just four short tracks “recorded by small objects with kids at Pichit province, Thailand at the end of the year 2021.” In a manner not unlike the approach Grisha Shakhnes has recently been perfecting, minimal sound cores of simple improvisation with various debris and knickknacks are surrounded by an environment seemingly indifferent to the small spot of participation at its center, and yet the two realms are very much in conversation with one another. There’s a clear partition between the shoreside gravel scrabble of “b” and the cardboard tube spun on the floor of an avian atrium in “b / b,” but the latter track both reconfigures itself and then blurs into the subsequent “s” without missing a beat, a structural fluidity that’s just one piece of P‘s humble, earnest commitment to constant boundary dissolution. For me, it easily joins the ranks of the select few musical works that captivate and comfort in a way that is completely unverbalizable.