CD: TAT [2006]

Thalidomide : Réminiscence
Quinta Essentia : Part I
Rian Iridiagmar
Mon Rêve Est Un Chêne Creux
Quinta Essentia : Part II
Quinta Essentia : Part III
Le Testament De Flamel
Digression Du Bouffon...
The Emerald Tablet

"Quinta Essentia" is the nascent birth of classical guitarist and composer, Tat, who along with six contributors delivers a recondite ornamentation of consummate artistry. While perhaps neofolk, one could only lump Tat into that genre by the similarity of instruments and a select few tracks, for "Quinta Essentia" is unlike any neofolk currently coming from Europe.

Leading with an impressive avant-garde stratosphere of guitar harmonics Tat breaks any mold of what you would expect, the swaying legato of rhythm guitar, with the disquiet resonance before monologue delves into a sumptuous display of melancholy creeping with sinister guitar work, sweeping arpeggios that sound as if it is three and not one guitar at work. Haunting crescents of organ and chimes drone to the disturbing duet of Tat and one of the two female contributors, Esclarmonde, with no sign of guitars despite the virtuosity exhibited in the first track. These two initial tracks set the stage for the perturbation to follow, though not all tracks seep into the dissonant or discomfiture. Gentle ballads of finger-picked guitar relieve agitation, though Tat’s voice when accompanying beauty tends to crumple sweetness, the rasps and deep guttural whispering a sign of whisky and mountaintops. Percussion pads inconsistent to the continuity of European folk and is strangely augmented with entropic equalization, more counterpoint to expectation as with the entire instrumentation throughout "Quinta Essentia". Guttural rituals of vocals hint alchemical preparation, the spaces between the exhortations as unnerving as the grained voices. If you are at all interested in something new to grace your speakers, then Tat will challenge you with its virtuosity, though the music does not smother with orchestra, rather it is sparse and experimental.

For a self-released production this is a delightfully presented jewel-case album. Monochromatic artwork and abstract photography is tastefully pressed with striking serif typography. Liner notes in French within the glossy eight page booklet explain each track, photography of contributing musicians. A Creative Commons artist, the purchase of the CD is a show of support for Tat, for all tracks may be downloaded free of charge from his website under the CC licensing arrangement.



Direct Link: http://www.auralpressure.com/review/t/tat_quinta_essentia.html