Tuesday 24 December 2013

Tarana - The Laden Soul Desires The Sun EP

EP review by soul1@thesoundofconfusion.com

The trouble with instrumental, experimental and relatively freeform music is that for many listeners it's the aural equivalent of running into a brick wall. This is why freeform jazz and extended prog odysseys remain very much a niche market. Based in New York, Tarana consist of Indian-born Ravish Momin who takes care of drums and electronics, and Rick Parker covering trombone and synth. It's fair to say this isn't your average set-up, and it should be no surprise that they don't make your average sounds. This two-track EP clocks in at over fifteen minutes and shuns any ideas of verses and choruses. That said, for an innovative and unique voyage into sound it's really rather listenable. Many odd noises shower the songs, with the voice being one of them; there are no real lyrics, vocals are used purely in an instrumental way.

It's a cover of Indian composer AR Rahman's 'Azeem O Shaan' that leads the way, with expansive brass and bubbling electronics conjuring up an instant atmosphere, but one that's difficult to describe as it's removed from so much other music. There are free jazz elements, there are ambient electronic elements, and there are even times when it touches upon modern, western dance music, funk, as well as more exotic, almost tribal forms. It's a voyage into the unknown and this is what makes the unfamiliarity of it all so appealing. Their own composition, 'Disposable', follows with a more downbeat intro that is then swathed in wailing female vocals that give an air of mystery. More atmospheric as a whole, it still manages to hold your attention for the best part of nine minutes through the sheer intricacy and depth of the instrumentation, especially as the mid-section delves deeper into a variety of realms. These songs may have some time-honoured roots, yet there's been little so fresh released all year.

Tarana's website

Buy the EP

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