12 November 2010

Padang Food Tigers - born music (2010, Under The Spire)

Padang for piano and organ, Food for field recordings and their subtle and authentic processing of atmospheres, Tigers, for the guitars, banjo and other strings.

We are accustomed to the capacity of versatility of Rameses III, Padang Food Tigers, two thirds of this UK formation (Stephen Lewis and Spencer Grady) cannot really take us by surprise.

"Going Down Moses", their debut ep, gave a strong and lasting impression, with warm melancholic summery bucolic rural tones, full of nostalgia for these ephemeral heavenly sensations one can feel at particular instants where everything seems unexpectedly graceful and fulfilling.

A season change, nuances of colors, desolate hinterlands, a pared-down style, an arresting sobriety, Padang Food Tigers are exploring this very moment when autumn slowly turns into winter. Intangible and nonchalant, unconcerned and diluted while authentic and risingly transcendent "Born Music" is sitting in the middle of the countryside with Yuichiro Fujimoto at the East and Scott Tuma at the West.

This is the kind of music you won't stop when you'll leave the room for a few minutes because it expands physically atmospheres and dimensions and gives the impression that once the music is gone there is still subliminally something left, floating in the left. "Born Music" is the aural equivalent of opening a window in order to ventilate a bedroom in the morning, celebrate fresh air as the eyes and the attention slowly accommodate with the new day.

On "Born Music" you recede from the heavy autumn rain and find shelter in an old warehouse while banjo notes are slipping away slowly and finally a thought, as a prospective dream, invades you with its moving melancholy translated by subtle contemplative guitar phrases, "Rise Before the Rain".

Slide guitar and warm organ tones on “Every Heaven I’ve Ever Seen”, sitting quietly on a rocking chair with view on a deserted desertic road.  We then fall into the night, unable to sleep with “Corpse Light Breaker”,  groggy and catching the view on a few scintillating stars.

A standout track is “You Got Me Almost Quiet” where they give more room to the field recordings into which the guitar comes to play and it sounds perfectly like a painting, an you feel like sitting under a tree, close to a fluttering river with bird voices. I could stay there for hours. Next track, “Chime Down The Lonely Monarch”, but with a feeling of urgency which throws you inside the sweet and wonderful sunny spell melody of “Up Beat Hummer".

With a surprising length of six minutes "Righ up rooster" use the repetition of a small piano pattern in order to achieve an hypnotic climbing towards a quasi silent plateau haunted by a ghostlike sine wave drone which announces and concludes.

“Sunday Night Revolution” is almost an echo of the "chicken or egg" dilemma, which one of the first recordings of fireworks and of the quiet Appalachian banjo  appeared first?  And “Not Coming Home”  starts as delicately as it ends abruptely "Born Music".

The short length of the tracks is often counterproductive to firmly establish atmospheres (particularly on the last two tracks), so I've got this feeling to float from one track to the other and wishing for more. The transitory aspect avoids them to exhaust their intuitions and feeling an "Born Music" as to be seen as an introduction. And what a perfect and wonderful debut for these yet burgeoning Padang Food Tigers.

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