There’s something very retro-sounding about this release, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Everything about Taumsauk seems very modern (arty elaborate packaging; two man instrumental band; Canada), but I’m overwhelmed by a feeling that it could have been released at any point over the last ten or fifteen years.
This isn’t a bad thing by the way. A good four or five of my Top Twelve albums were released in last ten or fifteen years.
On second listen, I think it could have a lot to do with the drums. They sound like they’ve been treated with the same dreamtime kid gloves that DJ Shadow used to polish Endtroducing… They’re resonantly vivid: echoing, booming, cavernous and epic, with occasional passages of chattering, paranoid claustrophobia. ‘Attack Cats’ adds washy synth effects borrowed from Fourtet’s Rounds opus, and ‘Lelvdon Hamps’ recalls the more cinematic moments of David Holmes’ resolutely cinematic This Film’s Crap… Let’s Slash The Seats, with tinges of Metallica’s thrash-psycadellic masterpiece ‘Orion’. ‘Trinidad’ sounds like Kasabian if they’d pushed the trip hop elements of Kasabian onto their second album, rather than the knuckle-dragging ones. For an instrumental duo, they nearly manage to fill the spaces with enough instruments to make singer unnecessary (and I’d qualify that by saying that only a handful manage it consistently (and not even Shadow at that)).
I’m still struggling to place exactly why I’m so convinced that this sounds retro, but for such a limited release (this is a DIY job) I’m not going to try to limit its praise.