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Tartar Lamb - Sixty Metonymies CD (album) cover


Tartar Lamb



3.25 | 22 ratings

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4 stars Tartar Lamb is close relative of the ever popular modern avant-garde project Kayo Dot. Kayo Dot, at its core, is a twisted sea of aggressive metallic minimalism, clashing with serene classical music and meditative themes. Here, in Tartar Lamb, Kayo Dot has been stripped entirely of the the metallic edge, and implanted with more obtuse classical avant-garde music. Drums, bass, electronics: all banned. One obvious effect of the changes is the unsoiled organic texture. A second is the musical intimacy between the core personnel: Toby Driver, whose presence and contribution is most prolific, but not dominant, and Mia Matsumiya, whose impeccable violin shapes this album.

Guests Tim Byrnes Andrew Greenwald contribute trumpet and percussion respectively. Both instruments appear repeatedly and prominently, but not to the extend of the violin or guitar. The trumpet's touch is one of atmosphere and colour; appearing characteristically in layers, sometimes stabbing softly, sometimes washing in waves. Percussion, however, contributes flavour and texture, and appears more liberally, with a distinct free and improvised form. No instrument is under or overplayed, and never appear unless their timing is genuinely perfect.

What I find most appealing about this album is the precision in which it is written. The complexity of this release lies not in the intricacies of the composition, but rather in the sophistication of the vision. There is no sorely impressive musicianship, no flurry of needless notes. Every sound played is done so with the utmost precision and care, and the most is drawn from each single noise. Every note is milked to its maximum, every sound is equal. There's something magically perfect about the composition that draws me so.

At its core, Tartar Lamb is Kayo Dot lacking metal and aggression. It has the organic spirit of a forest left to grow of its own accord, rather than the geometric shape of a city. Its beauty is subtle and may take numerous listens to detect. Sixty Metonymies is a renewing, refreshing, wholly unique experience.

Shakespeare | 4/5 |


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