This is a domestic reissue of an album on Kitty-Yo from last year. I’m not really sure why Mute saw fit to reissue it, as it has been fairly widely available, but I’m not one to complain.
Tarwater fall into the Germanic post-rock school also attended by To Rococo Rot and Kriedler, taught by Can, Faust, and with guest lectures by King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Tarwater don’t practice the light, airy and digitally precise style followed by their contemporaries. They muddy themselves with throbbing, soulful bass, guitars, vocals and fake vinyl surface noise.
That is one thing I don’t understand: putting the pops and crackle of vinyl on a CD. This sort of ridiculous sentimentality prevents Windsor for the Derby from having one of the world’s most perfect records in Minnie Gruetzfeldt . It smacks of attempting to add some sort of “authenticity” to the music, as if surface noise makes an album sound older and therefore more worthy of respect. I do not find it endearing at all.
But the music. Oh the music! The whole album has a wonderful relaxed feel that tempers repetition with carefully layered melody. The lyrics come from a variety of sources: Marc Bolan, Mark Dion, Holland Thomson, Phillipe Cousteau, Terry Wilson, Aldous Huxley (!), and Richard Kadrey. They are sung in a pleasantly understated style, mingling with the instruments, but never breaking the flow. The bass and drums form the base of most of the songs, around which are cascaded layers of texture.
Aside from any qualms about surface noise, Silur is a fine album. It corroborates dub and other varieties of rock to excellent effect.
Mute Records, 140 W. 22nd Street, Suite 10A, New York, NY 10011; http://www.mutelibtech.com