Tarta Relena - Fiat Lux Music Album Reviews

Tarta Relena - Fiat Lux Music Album Reviews
Drawing on Mediterranean folk, Georgian laments, and the 12th century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, the Catalan duo’s debut album is musically unique yet emotionally familiar.

The first second of “Stabat mater,” track four on Catalan duo Tarta Relena’s Fiat Lux, is a moment of such elusive, illusory beauty that you wish it could go on forever. It’s not immediately obvious what the diaphanous, fluttering sound is, or if your headphones might be playing up. But when the sound is repeated after a brief flurry of vocals, Helena Ros and Marta Torrella’s voices united in immaculate harmony, the penny drops: Tarta Relena have made a feature out of their breathing, converting what most singers regard as a musical by-product into a captivating highlight of their highly rewarding debut album.

This attention to detail is typical of Tarta Relena, if we can say anything is typical of two musicians who once dubbed their music “progressive Gregorian” and who tackle everything from traditional Georgian song to a composition by 12th century Benedictine abbess Hildegard von Bingen on Fiat Lux. Throughout their small but impeccable catalog, Tarta Relena have exercised exquisite control over their music, in both the refined telepathy of their vocal synthesis and the sparse musical touches that accompany it. Fiat Lux is an album where every breath counts and every note is precisely deployed, the duo’s voices supported by a fine-spun mesh of electronic touches and hairline effects from producers Juan Luis Batalla and Òscar Garrobé.

“El suïcidi i el cant” employs a cavernous electronic bass for exactly four notes at the song’s halfway mark, their perfectly weighted melodrama forewarning a turn in the song’s emotional heft, like dark clouds briefly blotting out the sun. The song’s second half sounds positively furious, Ros and Torrella’s vocals filled with the volcanic anger that the bass foretold. “Esta montanya d’enfrente,” similarly, uses the faintest puff of electronic sound, a ringing in the ears of the song’s background, to add texture to the duo’s gorgeous vocal coupling, edging this traditional Sephardic song into the 21st century on the finest of musical beds.

Tarta Relena’s arcane choice of material might make their music appear dry or academic, the work of librarians and archivists rather than poets and provocateurs. But a fast-beating heart runs through the record, and the ultimate payoff is a sly pop edge that is more evident on Fiat Lux than in the duo’s previous work. “Me yelassan,” the traditional Greek song that closes the record, edges its way into a hand-clapping beat that plays off swinging drums and bass like a Rosalía hit, or the Diwali riddim that dominated dancehall in the early 2000s. “El suïcidi i el cant” is an adaptation of traditional poetry by Pashtun women from Afghanistan and colored by the “terrible August” of 2021, when Taliban forces took control of the country. But the song’s wildly catchy melody is underpinned by a scuttling electronic beat that brings it to the edge of pop music, even as the song spins its searing musical tale. There is even a touch of self-effacing humor in the title of “Relatable content,” a wordless sonic interlude that leads into the record’s final stretch.

Perhaps Tarta Relena’s greatest achievement on this gripping album is that their work sounds both musically unique and emotionally familiar, reaching through centuries of tradition and geographical divide to connect on a human level, like an ancient Egyptian hangover cure or a crude Sumerian joke. Fiat Lux feels timeless, a finely detailed work of archeological adventure, where the emotions excavated run deep.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Tarta Relena - Fiat Lux Music Album Reviews Tarta Relena - Fiat Lux Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on January 06, 2022 Rating: 5


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