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Dark - Tamna Voda CD (album) cover

TAMNA VODA

Dark

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.82 | 12 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This could be a long one. DARK were based out of Germany but they were a multi-national band with their leader Mark Nauseef(drums, percussion) being from the USA and believe it or not a childhood friend of Ronnie James Dio. He would play on Dio's ELF project but way before that in 1971 Mark at 18 years of age joined THE VELVET UNDERGROUND. He would play with THE IAN GILLAN BAND after that then with Gary Moore before moving to Germany and collaborating with Joachim Kuhn of ASSOCIATION P.C. fame. It is from Germany that this project arose and this was their second and final album released in 1988.

We get Serbian guitarist Miroslav Tadic along with American bass player Mark London Sims who would later play with Don Cherry and NELS CLINE TRIO. His playing is very upfront and deep. We also get two incredible guests in L. Shankar playing double violin and David Torn playing guitar and guitar loops. I like that these two both play on 3 separate tracks each leaving the core lineup to play on the remaining four songs. This is all instrumental and often experimental, my kind of adventerous music and certainly the best album I have heard so far from 1988.

"Trilok" opens with guitar and a high pitched instrument I'm not sure of. Soon deep bass lines and drums join in as the high pitched sounds step aside. It picks up quickly. Bass and drums only follow but the guitar is back quickly making noise. Man the guy can drum, I absolutely love his style. Guitar only before 2 minutes then that unusual sounding double violin joins in along with bass and drums. Man that violin is screaming at one point. Drums, bass and guitar lead after 3 1/2 minutes before the violin returns again. Those high pitched sounds are back before 4 1/2 minutes with violin, bass and drums. What an opener!

"Xanthophyl" opens with atmosphere and vibes along with relaxed drums. The guitar starts to come to the fore around a minute. Vibes only after 1 1/2 minutes then the guitar is back slowly offering up some expressions to end it. "Sacred Heart" is the first track with Torn on it, one of my favourite guitarists. It opens with the guitar lighting it up as the drums rumble and more. It settles back before a minute with lots of atmosphere as it calms down even more to an almost haunting vibe before 1 1/2 minutes. Picked guitar starts to rise out of this then it kicks back in a minute later with outbursts of drums, guitar and more. Another calm and it's almost silent after 3 minutes. Percussion, bass and more start to come to the fore. Its building before 4 minutes as the guitar joins in and it's nasty. Oh yeah it is! Love the depth of sound here and the dark vibe. Check out the angular guitar starting before 7 minutes.

"Drifting" is a Jimi Hendrix tune from his "The Cry Of Love" album. Lightly picked guitar before Shankar arrives with that double violin and some depth. This is a relaxed tune with an apt title. "Buzzard Luck" has some active but tasteful guitar along with drums and bass. This is the first really jazzy moment. It's building until suddenly it's bass only then some experimental sounds, especially from the guitar. Love this stuff. A calm after 2 minutes but some more weird guitar follows then vibes. It picks up again before 3 minutes then a calm ends it.

"Tamna Voda" opens with this deep atmosphere that builds as the guitar plays very slowly over top. The guitar starts to get more powerful before 2 minutes as the drums come to the fore. Love his drum work here and that guitar style. "Ready To Order" opens with that in your face bass that I really like with drums, guitar and more. It settles right down a minute in with bass and vibes as Torn offers up some slow guitar expressions over top. Nice. Check it out after 3 minutes. It kicks in again like the start around 4 minutes with the bass leading the way. Metal is flying everywhere As Torn unleashes in a big way.

"Smoke At Will" has a quiet start, kind of haunting actually with atmosphere and bass as the guitar cries out. The guitar then starts to make some noise after 2 minutes. My kind of soundscape. "Para" is a Joachim Kuhn composition. Bass to start as Shankar arrives with his double violin. There's more as these outbursts come and go before it kicks into gear at 1 1/2 minutes. This is uptempo with violin over top then the guitar is on fire, scraping away away before the violin returns after 2 1/2 minutes. Back to those outbursts from earlier with calms in between.

"Merciful" ends it and Torn is back for this one. Percussion and atmosphere as some laid back picked guitar joins in, bass too. It picks up before 2 1/2 minutes as we get percussion only and some atmosphere. Some strange vocal expressions are brief after 3 1/2 minutes then the guitar makes some noise over the percussion that has slowed down. The guitar is picked again like earlier after 5 minutes with atmosphere, percussion and bass.

This could go under Avant or Eclectic but I understand the debut is Jazz/ Rock. Funny I just started listening to music today for my reviews this weekend and I've found another killer album from 1988 by Wulf Zednek. This one is a must for fans of adventerous music.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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