Tarwater - Inside the ships (Bureau B)

Here's something you don't hear every day. The title track from the new Tarwater album starts with a low tuba drone and a sample of some tapped acoustic instrument strings (of unknown origin), which are then joined by a very chilled out programmed drumbeat and electric guitar pattern. Then, out of the blue, one minute in, comes the sound of an instrument I've never heard before. It sounds vaguely Middle Eastern or North African, and as if it should be a wind instrument. It plays a quixotic melody that's not a million miles from something you'd hear on bagpipes. It's brief and very exotic to these ears, then it's gone again. The song meanders on, pauses momentarily, at which point a male voice intones "inside the ships" in very good English with a slight accent, accompanied by that tuba again and an accordion (or maybe another bellows instrument). He then proceeds to list what I think are names of dances, like "The Easybone", "The Saturday", "The Quicksand", "The Curious End", "The Chocolate Foam", which are performed inside said ships. The whole thing is electronic music with a beautiful organic and analogue feel, with subtle hooks at every turn and just slightly unhinged. It's quite a trip and is sure to worm its way into your waking moments fairly rapidly, if I know my eggs.

Tarwater - Inside The Ships by Bureau B


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