T.A.P – Paradigms

Melodic Revolution 2023

T.A.P –

Given a soundtrack, analog measure of aggressive behavior in people couldn’t be more arresting than in one international group’s grasp.

As far as instrumental art-rock albums go, there’s a lot of ambition and a lot of big ideas which, quite frequently, don’t live up to their creators’ grand schemes. Thankfully, this is not the case with “Paradigms” whose seven cuts are the result of a decade-long work by experienced players located in different countries and exercising collective telepathy in a totally remote mode, so it’s safe to say the sextet’s debut will not be a singular effort – in terms of number rather than non-ordinariness. Yet even if the ensemble stopped here and now, the record on offer feels too impressive to disappear without a trace, and the listener will not have to know anything about the platter’s concept to get engulfed by the music venturing beyond psychological studies.

Instead, from the expansive weave of cosmic strings and spaced-out ivories that conspire to paint the mesmeric “Infinite Names” on ethereal plateaus, where transparent mélange of Moog and Mellotron and flamenco-esque guitar lace are married to futuristic whooshes and old-time waltzes, to the otherworldly solemn, yet tribally throbbing and piano-encrusted, soundscapes of “Terminus” and at many a point between, the band explore psychedelic reaches of human mind and its dynamic possibilities. And though the title of “The Progbient” might seem to fly in one’s face, the piece per se involves enough fairground frivolity and folk-to-funk-to-fusion fantasy to dispel any doubt of these artists’ power to push the boundaries of obvious and infuse their prog with artificial voices which run along the lines Mark Cook and Suzi James’ mighty twang and bottom-end rumble emboss on Mike Jobborn and Gayle Ellett’ keyboards. No wonder, then, in the flute-flaunting, pacifying “Initiate Protocol” unhurriedly unfolding a resonant panorama before adding bluesy hues to the track’s flawed idyll, and passing momentum on to the chamber-tight harmonies behind “Signal Transactions” to provide the platter’s flow with sanguine, or crimson, tint and take heavy riffs to the dancefloor.

However, the record’s second epic holds a lot of surprises, two distinct mixes of “Silence From The Storm” that let Paul Sears and Bill Bachman’s drums fathom the composition’s symphonic scope going for the jugular by laying down magical grooves and cymbals accents under the tsunami-imposing passages and finely filigreed solos of their fellow travelers on the way to the deep unknown. And to the criminal underground, too, as “The Last Words Of Dutch Schultz” suggests by sifting its film-noir sonics through rhythmic swagger and gradually gaining pace. This album can hardly shift any paradigm but pleasant shivers and shakes from hearing T.A.P perform are guaranteed.


December 19, 2023

Category(s): Reviews
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