[sic] Magazine

Babau – Papalagi EP

Babau, a relative of the boogeyman, is the stage-name for creative Italian twenty-somethings Luigi Monteanni and Matteo Pennesi. The talented duo also run the Artetetra label on which their new Papalagi EP is released, as well as being members of the art collective Tetuan. And, children of the modern and old worlds simultaneously, listening to their Papalagi EP is like scanning through innumerable, traditional, pan-global music channels, hand-drummed rhythms complementing ethno-psyche rumbles and sounds taken straight from nature.

The patient “Palo Majombe”, for example, pairs wooden percussion that croaks like insects and frogs with conga drums and it’s like waking sweat-drenched from deep meditation into total darkness. The remarkable “Faus” then pulls you closer to madness, playing chirruping birds against menacing drone – part prop-plane, part chainsaw – until a spoken-word ceremony begins, the solemn shaman’s very words becoming trance-like.

So far, so Moon Glyph, these intrepid adventures bringing to mind its roster’s more out-there audiophiles such as Ak’chamel and Million Brazilians, but Babau’s first EP, Tapes From The Bedroom, leant more heavily on ambience and the 9-minute “Ila ‘No Kuaili” here draws from that period, clip-clopping along on a loungey strain of warped exotica during which found-sounds drift in and out of focus, evocative vocal samples giving way to stoned wah wah shimmer. EP closer, “Palma Hayek”, then lifts a David Letterman interview of Salma Hayek and places it on bed of trickling water and wind chimes. Two conflicting worlds side by side and, just like Babau themselves, they somehow find themselves in perfect harmony.

~The Papalagi EP is out now on cassette via the collaborative efforts of Italian DIY labels Artetetra and Narvalo Suoni.~