[sic] Magazine

Halasan Bazar & Tara King th. – 8

The comparative adjective “much-anticipated” gets much overused. In the case of 8, however, it’s more than entirely apt. Halasan Bazar’s 60s psyche-folk masterwork How To Be Ever Happy has deservedly just been reissued while Tara King th. has utterly beguiled on both cinematic psyche-pop tapes to date, last year’s wonderfully noir Hirondelle Et Beretta in particular.

Introduced by shared label boss Steve Rosborough earlier this year the resultant six-piece struck it off, isolating themselves deep in the Auvergne in order to flesh out this exciting collaboration. And, ironically enough considering their home countries (Tara King th. couldn’t be more French while Copenhagen collective Halasan Bazar are led by Norwegian exile Fredrick Rollum Eckoff) they’ve gone Dutch, splitting their signature sounds so that no-one comes out on top.

Standout “Rot Inside” is the clear winner in this arrangement. The best of both worlds, Béatrice Morel-Journel and Eckoff duet like Nancy Sinatra making eyes at a stoned Ian McCulloch, gloomy Farsifa oscillating away like Crystal Stilts caught in some sun-bleached cactus-chapel limbo. “Door Wrap”, on the other hand, sounds entirely new. It’s all very sunglasses-indoors, Morel-Journel’s unrecognisably fractured vocal and the track’s paranoid string rattles lending depth to a near-funky psyche-lounge shuffle.

It almost goes without saying that 8 is an evocative listen, but when has a wheezy organ ever not been full of intrigue? Who doesn’t side with ghostly chimes and the vaguely surf-like every time? And you just cannot fail to fall for heavy-hearted, Velvet Underground-and-pedal-steel abetted sighing of this quality. Add to this a bleary skonk-drone blowout and you’ve got gold. In fact, when it comes to twinkling tracks like the French-language “Ventolin” it kinda just makes you hope David Lynch has a dream sequence to fit for his can’t-come-soon-enough third instalment of Twin Peaks in order to give it the exposure it deserves. Much-anticipated? It’d have been worth the wait at twice the time.

Best track: “Rot Inside”

~Alongside Sébastien Tixier’s companion-piece documentary, 8 is released October 13th 2014 on Moon Glyph.~