CD REVIEW: Taba Goog Music - The Killing Star
By: Levi Canfield
Artist: Taba Goog
Weakness: Vocals, Lack of Direction, Doesn’t introduce enough as music progresses
Taba Goog Music is an experimental trip concocted by Tabanelli Andrea. His cheap electronic setup is meant to deliver the listener on a transcendent experience. Since 2001, Taba has been creating and releasing albums on the cheap in his native Italy. The 2009 release, The Killing Star, is Taba’s latest addition in his collection of 3 to 4 track opuses.
The Killing Star has a strong rhythm section that surfaces right from the start. Every song has a driving drum machine that keeps the tracks from losing too much momentum. Taba’s strongest quality is being able to find the melody in the haze of blipping ticks or rising synths. Underneath the ether of each song is the compromise that a strong melody is hiding somewhere. In the theme of hazy, drug trips this tends to work well for the album. At times balancing on the fence of boring repetition, the music is definitely meant for a particular audience. The clear standout between the four songs is the number called “Liquid Interstellar”. The song definitely knows how to take the listener on an interstellar space ride for sure, and the song contains the most direction and structure out of the four. Showing the strongest rhythm yet (the bass!), hovering melodies, a guitar solo by Gonny L’Angelo and the school teacher samples, this song really does have the psychedelic feel that this entire album was going for. Focusing more on textures and atmospherics, Tabanelli Andrea managed to create soft pieces of droning trips all while with a small budget. This sort of Do-It-Yourself attitude is the thesis of independent music. Creating the music you want to hear, regardless of criticism, price, or technical aptitude. That attitude is what probably inspired the unusual school teacher samples in “Liquid Interstellar” or the bongo drum that calls to the bass on “Dreamers Movement”. Taba Goog Music has sound all of it’s own, and manages to ride the wave of droning enough to drive the beat in, but not too much to bore the listener to tears.
The actual lack of any strong production hurts the overall sound of the album. Finding the spacious room and tripped out effects are harder underneath the still raw sounding mixing of the record. Albums focusing on atmospherics definitely need to take full advantage of the space all around, and this cd does not capture those effects. Not only does it shove the rhythm very far in the front, the vocals are so far back you can barely make them out. Generally this would be bad, but the vocals for Taba Goog Music are far and beyond Taba’s worst quality. Half the time the songs are not even sung, and instead barely muttered by Mr. Andrea. Artists like Spiritualized were making music on drugs, for people taking drugs. Taba can’t pull the same off. It might have worked for Mr. Andrea if he were more musically inclined, but unfortunately the low budget, lack of production, and general aimless direction make this record more like a bad trip, then a transcendent experience to enlightenment. Each song as it progresses really doesn’t add enough to the already looping samples and many times creates a strong urge for the song to progress somewhere further then where its leading.
At no length is this a dreadful album, but I doubt you’d find few people who really relish this. Aside from the relatives and friends of Tabanelli, very few people would have any reason to really pick this album up. In terms of psychedelic electronics, countless other bands have done it more creatively, with better production and more focus. When looked at from the perspective of an uneducated music fan who creates songs they want to hear on the computer, it’s definitely not bad. At times you might find your toes tapping or head bobbing to some sort of islander rhythm, but you’ll never find yourself recommending this to anyone. The rhythms, creative use of samples, and overall abstract nature of it make for an intriguing listen, but in the end a very underwhelming one.
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