TARAS BULBA – Soul Weaver (2020, LP Riot Season Records)
Label: Riot Season Records
Format: LP, Album, Limited Edition, Transparent Turquoise Vinyl, housed in reverse board printed outer sleeve with black poly-lined inner
Release Date: 14 Aug 2020
Taras Bulba is the personal vehicle of Fred Laird (Moon Of Ostara, The Crawlin’ Hex, Thee Transmissions, Blunderpussy, Earthling Society). Fred formed Taras Bulba from the ashes of Earthling Society in the winter of 2018 and since then he has released 3 albums (“One” LP, 2019 / “Three Gates Dub” Cassette, CDr, 2020 / “Soul Weaver” LP, 2020). “Writing lysergic lo-fi works that mix Krautrock, Syd Barrett, Popol Vuh, 60’s psych, world music and anything else they can throw into the gumbo. Shying away from professional recording facilities Taras Bulba record drifting dreamlike soundtracks whilst bunkered down in their own DIY box room studio”.
The press release reads: “Soul-Weaver was recorded between February and April of 2020. The album is a sharp contrast to the Taras Bulba debut. Whereas ‘One’ was a laid back psilocybic novelty travelogue; Soul-weaver is more guitar-driven dream-like psychedelia, mixing 60’s garage rock, shoegaze, bucolic west coast acid folk, and ambient feedback. The album builds on song structures instead of drifting instrumentals prevalent on our debut and is an indication of the path I want to go musically. Constructing the album in such a short time and under lockdown restrictions changed the way the album took shape. There were no drum sessions between myself and Jon due to the social distance rule and therefore percussion had to be constructed from drum machines or ‘found’ from previous sessions and cannibalized. So, in some ways, this is more a solo record (Jon has never heard the songs). It is a guitar album whereas ‘One’ was a rhythm/percussion focused recording.
Lyrically it draws on (quite accidentally) the writings of Dion Fortune, particularly her novel ‘The Sea Priestess’ which I read 12 months before. It never even came into mind until I started draughting the lyrics and things started popping up that had very strong comparisons to that novel. That’s the subconscious mind I suppose and also living next to the Irish sea which is literally at the top of my street. I can see it and smell the salt on the air every day. I’m lucky really for that. I took it all for granted up until the last year or two. The recording has a bit of a watery, dreamy feel too and it’s also haunted.
It’s haunted by a good soul though; with electric blue eyes.
Early March I recorded the track ‘Sun and Steel’ and I could hear a female vocal on it. I needed to record a vocal and my sister in law always fancied herself as a bit of a singer. I thought she could weave some magic on it. I text her at 9:26 am, it was a Thursday morning. She never replied.
This is for you Susie (1971 – 2020) eternally in our hearts…”
So, this “guitar album” by Taras Bulba consists of 7 songs clock ticking from 3:33 to 13:43 minutes. All instruments and vocals are by Fred Laird. Jon Blacow is the “occasionally” drummer. “Soul Weaver” kicks off with the pompous epic “Fishcat Mother”, an amazingly hazy shoegazy atmos created with tons of lazy slow feedback bringing to mind Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized! “The Moon On The Tides” has a tremendous psychotic blurry musical environment, a collage of mixing sounds, voices, noises, vocals… Interesting… “Goatfoot On Own Hill” is an experimental kind-of tune, trippy and deeply psych and for some unknown reason it brings to my rusty mind some trippy bizarre moments from Kennelmus’ “Folkstone Prism”… “Tethered On The Wheel” is a multi-psychotic distorted kind of ballad, dark, creepy, and extra mind-flying, an effected tune drenched into melancholy and weirdness with a hazy ambient-new-age-something sophisticated background. “Sun And Steel” is a depressive isolated dark amalgam of noises and samples, rather experimental and chaotically trippy! “Catch A Falling Star” starts, and after the 3min ambient-folkie intro, the track slowly unfolds and transforms into an acoustic melon collie ballad filled with a feeling of nostalgia while for the last 4 minutes the track becomes an amazingly trippy psych-spacey-proggish tune! “The Blistering Of Summer Heart” has a slow and bit of relaxing start soon to be launched into the stratosphere of psyche, a distortically mind-fall ballad. So, what we have here is a “different” and “difficult” album, with many great moments inside. An album that cannot pass unobserved! An album that lightens up the Underground… You’ll decide if you’ll Love it or you’ll… Recommended… TimeLord Michalis
|A2||The Moon On The Tides||4:50|
|A3||Goatfoot On Owl Hill||3:33|
|A4||Tethered On The Wheel||9:09|
|B1||Sun And Steel||5:28|
|B2||Catch A Falling Star||13:43|
|B3||The Blistering Of Summer Heat||6:09|
Get the Album through Sound Effect Records (Greece)
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