Classical music seems to be a turnoff for a lot of people. Perhaps it's the overwhelming orchestral masses, or the lack of identifiable lyrical basis, or perhaps just a lack of knowledge due to its "old" image.
But then comes bands such as Godspeed You Black Emperor, implementing a very close resemblance to traditional stringed classical compositions with, of course, it's own special fling. Even a flood of metal bands, such as Japan's Ash, fitting an essentially baroque style into a very modern-day genre. Classical music is not dead, nor should we wish it so. And Tarantula is the reason.
Tarantula's self-titled debut, albeit very short (just over 29 minutes), provides a wonderful glimpse into the not so distant past. As World Wars are being fought, new advancements in productions, philosophy, and economics are being discovered, and as globalization is becoming all too apparent, the orchestral and the traditional all comes together and music is allowed to flow freely across the world with increasing easy. The 20th Century was a revolutionary time, and through turmoil and prosperity, music developed along side it all. And as the new millennium emerges, so comes Tarantula with a classically trained love for classical arrangements. From Radiohead, to Django Reinhardt, to Led Zeppelin, to "Afro-Cuban and North Indian Classical," their influences are abundant. Some may be more noticeable than others, but they all apply in some way.
And to think, it's just a quartet. Jamie Reeder on violin, Danny Bensi on cello, Saunder Jurriaans on bass, and Gregory Rogove on drums. While the violin is the most prevalent, giving it a 1900-1940's classical Western European sound, Rogove's drum-work is equally as amazing and important, adding to a more identifiably modern sound, along side the wonderful cello accompaniment on "Opening Theme". Jurriaans' relaxed tengo guitar work on "Palo Borracho" is no less enticing, and helps display the range of this New York scene group.
Certainly one of my picks for the best of the year, and a welcomed addition to my collection.
- Zeff Svoboda
- Backdoor Cami
- Embedded in Ice
- Opening Theme
- Palo Borracho