Exposé Online banner

Taal — Skymind
(Musea FGBG 4483.AR, 2003, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2003-12-01

Skymind Cover artI know it may seem like a glamorous life to be a music critic, getting all those free CDs, getting into shows for free, hobnobbing with the stars. But I assure you, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Most of the CDs you get are things you’d rather not listen to, but you buckle down and sacrifice for the readers, trying to separate the gems from the dirt and provide some useful knowledge. Then something like this comes along and makes it all seem worthwhile. It only took a couple of minutes into the first track to hook me – there’s such a marvelous combination of extremes, such a unique combination of disparate things I enjoy, that I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Parts of it resemble what 5uu’s might sound like if they recruited a guitarist from a metal band; other parts remind me of Procol Harum’s Grand Hotel seen through a warped lens; sometimes it’s like Weill on acid. In general, Taal is the schizophrenic bastard child of a rock band and a chamber orchestra, unwilling to sacrifice the extremes at either of the spectrum in any sort of compromise. But then again, “schizophrenic” implies that the different personalities take turns at the helm, and one of the most intriguing things about Taal is that the string quartet and the winds are fully integrated into even the heavier moments rather than being just the quiet part of a loud-quiet dichotomy.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 28, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): Taal

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Meira Asher - Dissected – Saying Israeli composer and vocalist Meira Asher is a vanguard comes as a bit of an understatement. Her work has been acclaimed worldwide as she meshes and scrutinizes world culture to fit her...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues