Tau Emerald - Travellers Two [Important Records - 2008]Tau Emerald's debut album is a dense, dirgey, often improvised sounding darkening ritual of primeval folk forged by the female duo of Tara Burke (Fursaxa) and Sharron Kraus, It seesaws between great barren beauty and discordant/ doomy sentiments.
The album was recorded over a weeks period in Kraus home studio, when not recording the pair communed with spirits while visiting burial mounds in the UK. Sonically this feels like a really bounding of both artists home countries with Tara Burke American heritage coming out in moments that hint of American Indian ritual vibe and Sharon Kraus English tones coming out in the hints towards Scottish or medieval type dirge’s. The pair build up an often dense and weaving walls of sound from acoustic guitars, tinkling bells, chimes and vibes, flute discord, tense American Indian drumming, rain sticks, violin, accordion and droning folk textures. The tracks flit between joint sweet and slightly creepy female vocal lit moments, to denser often ominous vocal-less sombre rituals.
As the album progresses it seems to darken and become more eerie, with at times being almost pagan horror bound. One particular chilling and beautiful later moment comes in the form of Marmaids call which links together nightmarish strummed discordant horror film piano strings, creeped out siren vocal calls, with brighter yet still sligty sinister accordion swaying vocal harmonies.
This is the first work I’ve heard from either of these highly talented female artist and it’s really made me very egger to hear more. An album of great beauty, dark earthiness and sombre wonder- So step inside the circle the ritual is about to begin.Roger Batty