(New Releases) Babau- Papalagi [EP] & Nicola Tirabasso- “Soundtrack for Acariňo Galaico” [VHS]

Babau, Luigi Monteanni and Matteo Pennesi, remain one of the most engaging and under-appreciated neo-psychedelic groups in action these days. Their new EP Papalagi, recorded at Plaster Recording Studio in Potenza Picena, is pretty damn excellent. My anticipation for a full-length album from Babau grows as they offer me the first flowerings of their vision piece by piece.

Like Shalabi Effect, they’re a little bit post-rock and little bit psych-rock– a bewildering and exotic mixture of styles that betrays their impressive level of technical skill is their most recognizable trait. Out of a frothing miasma of space jazz and ritualistic drones, a vicious, buoyant guitar line will often cut through and remind the listener of the rock underpinnings of this highly imaginative psychedelic band. Papalagi is a tasty concoction to behold, and the juxtaposition is often really fascinating: whether it’s within the ominous primitivism of “Faus” (previously seen on Monteanni and Pennesi’s ArteTetra’s first exotic ésotérique compilation), the ecstatic mindfuckery of “Palo Mojombe”, or the garbled vocals and glittering synths of “Palma Hayek”. There is no time wasted here– the whole EP is gripping and well-constructed avant-prog. It isn’t often for me to feel as though I’m one-hundred percent on the same wavelength with a young band’s vision, and so Babau are really a rather exciting project to behold.

The EP can be streamed in its entirety here:

Also of interest to anyone who has been following ArteTetra’s highly eclectic and mind-manifesting output is their new VHS release “Soundtrack for Acariňo Galaico” by Nicola Tirabasso. This release re-edits Jose Val Del Omar’s 1961 surreal short film Acariňo Galaico to include Tirabasso’s new soundtrack of ominous, atmospheric loops and drones. This release too was previewed on exotic ésotérique vol. 1, on the track “Nostra signora dei turchi”. Tirabasso’s spooky psych-drone is a fitting mate for the strange mixture of religious iconography and leprous human faces in the film’s  imagery. Highly recommended to anyone else who thought that the cavernous krautrock doom of Expo 70’s Death Voyage was brilliant as hell.


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