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Tuatha gets musically metaphysical on new album "Invocation"

By Nathan Harper

Tuatha is all about mood, and their January 26th CD release party at Avogadro's should be a veritable merry-go-round of musical possession, as the rhythms of the Earth flow through their instruments conjuring up a mystical realm of dancing, animism, and perhaps Tempeh.

Those in attendance will be treated to tracks from the forthcoming record, "Invocation." The unifying theme of the release is, as the band puts it "a psychedelic collage of trance dance, world groove, and tribal fusion that transports the listener on a visually evocative musical pilgrimage to indigenous lands, shamanic visions, and the realms of the spirits." Though each track is imbued with the above descriptors, each, thankfully, maintains its individuality.

Without some differentiators to act as signposts for the listener, an album like "Invocation" could be an amorphous blend of musical incense smoke, wafting without shape, an enhancer, but not an end in itself. Instead, each track doubles as a unique experience as well as a world-trivia quiz. Those who know that Ganesha is an elephant-headed Hindu deity won't be surprised to find an Indian influence on "Dance of Ganesha," just as those who know that Marrakech is in Morocco might expect to hear the sounds of a North African bazaar on the song that bears the city's name.

While these hints might set-up the listener's expectations, the band's ability to make good an the moods really impresses about the record. Whereas many bands have one multi-instrumentalist, Tuatha is comprised entirely of them. Sounding like their own guild of itinerant pagan-warrior musicians, the group consists of Tiracai on electric violin, vocals and percussion; Ek Balam on electric guitar, acoustic guitar, guitar synthesizer and vocals; lannin on double bass, bodhran, djembe and dumbek hand drums and vocals; Logran on dununba, bodhran, riq, tar, as well as various other percussion instruments and vocals; and finally Pablo Mago on electric bass, electric guitar, electric mandolin, bodhran and vocals.

The emphasis of drums and percussion is obvious in the group's music, and the skill with which these rhythms are plied is impressive. Over these entrancing beats the rest of the instruments are free to play, but unlike much of the trance electronica that the group draws inspiration from, the complex tone of the percussion instruments add a third dimension to the sound which allows "Invocation" to succeed in transporting the listener an impressive feat for such a record.

See for more info and show dates.

Scene Magazine, Vol 18, Issue 10, January 2008