Monday, August 17, 2009

Outer Tumbolia - Mail & Guardian review

It has been a while since the South African music scene has heard from Ramon Galvan, the former vocalist and keyboard player from the avant-rock band Blackmilk. Great news then, that he has a debut solo album out on Righard Kapp’s Jaunted Haunted Press and it’s amazing too.

Outer Tumbolia is an album filled with delicate off-kilter emotional outpourings that at first listen can come across as emotionally draining. However, I found that with every further listen, my heart warmed just a little more to his songs of loss and longing.

While Galvan’s vocals remind me of Antony Hegarty, without all the grandiose pomp, the music consistently reminded me of John Cale’s work.

Luminarc which, features Kapp on guitar loops, is a gem of a song, while The Rupture which, features Galvan on kalimba, music box and melodica, is an album highlight too. However Galvan saves the best for last, an incendiary collaboration with Benguela drummer Ross Campbell on its dramatic closer No Rest, where Galvan croons along to the Kalimba, while Pierre du Plessis delivers waves of feedback and Campbell offers up some jazzy percussion.

Get this immediately and catch Galvan on a national tour with Kapp and Benguela soon.

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