Maps And Diagrams "Caoutchouc" remastered and released for the first time digitally, originally released in 2004 on Static Caravan in the UK [VAN 79].
Limited to 100 copies, the album cover is made from cork wood cut down in Moongolia (not Mongolia) and wiro-bound. Inserts printed on recycled manila kraft paper.
Cyclic Defrost Review 
Maps and Diagrams (Tim Martin) is increasingly becoming a name that is associated with wistful and soulful electronic music. A steady output of solid material has come from the Maps and Diagrams camp, and this offering on the Static Caravan imprint is another fine effort. ‘Pismus’ establishes the mood with some lovely pastoral overtones suggesting an album themed around reflection and emotion. ‘Thrban’ similarly evokes imagery of longing and loss, and is almost introductory in feel as well, featuring rough yet subtle rhythms and gentle pads scattered amongst simple, chiming melodies.
The shimmering filtered pads that introduce ‘Sonnr’ suggest a more contemplative piece, yet a lazy groove snaps in with some tidy beats and Martin’s keen ear for melody steers the track into very hypnotic territory. This harks back to early-nineties, cleanly shaped melodic electronica such as Autechre’s Amber, where all the elements fit nicely in place, and there is enough aural space remaining in the track for the listener to gain a clear sense of what they are hearing on first listen.
‘Clrtmrk’ confirms that Martin has a deep seated fear of using vowels in track titles, and works perfectly as a companion track to the album’s opener ‘Pismus’, working wonderfully as an intermission of sorts to the more fleshed-out pieces on the album. ‘Stmble’ is indeed an audio accompaniment to stumbling within some sort of lucid dream world, with its syncopated chords arpeggiating all the while.
Fellow Cactus Islander (Maps & Diagrams and Broca’s label) Broca’s remix of ‘Throughme’ is a stripped bare, tension-drenched exercise in subtle sequencing, with sparse and crystalline female vocals wandering amongst unresolved chord sequences and percussion taps and zaps. A wonderful quality of both Broca and Maps and Diagrams is that they restrain from overloading with bass heavy Percussion, and complement their melodic focus with clever and considered rhythm programming.
‘Iohma’ concludes once again with chiming leads scattered amongst big and rich pads, almost sounding like an Sakomoto-esque oriental theme, and suitably summarises the overriding theme of Tim Martin’s work. A limited edition of only one hundred copies, all in cork bound casing, well worth the price of admission.