ALBUM REVIEW: Tala Vala – Modern Hysteric | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

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Number Witch
Released: 12.02.21

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Roffe-Ridgard and Ben Locket’s second full-length collaboration began life as a soundtrack, before the duo grew disillusioned with the format’s constraints. Really, it’s little wonder; for while it represents an almost complete re-write, Modern Hysteric displays conspicuously scant regard for sonic or thematic limitation. Skilfully straddling everything from electronica to post-rock and free jazz, the end product is as engrossing as it is uncategorisable.

Synths sizzle and squelch with an electrifying pizzazz, while liberal dollops of brass, strings, distorted guitar and skittish percussion (the latter provided by Jim White, of Xylouris White and Dirty Nil fame) ensure one never wants for drama. With a largely analogue process its only tangible curb, Tala Vala’s cinematic fusion both demands and rewards repeat listening.

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