You may not have heard of Australian producer Tim Shiel, but he’s closer to your radar than you think. He’s good friends with Gotye, and has become an essential part of his live show, helping to set up the mapping and controllers that allow the band to put on such an engaging performance. He’s also created a series of quirky and eclectic electronic pop releases as Faux Pas, although those are mostly still unknown and underrated gems. But nothing that he’s done before sounds quite as unique as his latest EP Time Shield.
Essentially one song split across five movements, these tracks sound like they could be leftovers from David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life in The Bush of Ghosts. Shiel similarly obsesses over African percussion, found sounds, and hypnotic polyrhythms. Combine that with all of the arpeggiating synths and guitars, and you’ve got something swirling and repetitious enough to make you dizzy. Philip Glass would be proud.
The sequences themselves are somber and cinematic, but just when you’re starting to feel sad, Shiel likes to throw in a humorous sample, like the 80s hip hop shout on Vincent Cassel, or the over-the-top hollers on 8pm Eternal. It’s also pretty hard not to laugh at just how wonky Shippedmy is.
You can pay what you’d like for this spinning EP at Shiel’s Bandcamp. Try your best not to lose your lunch, though.