Artist: Cross Tabou
Release: Illusion And Paradise
Release Date: 06/02/15
California is producing some epic sound’s these days, away from the mainstream tripe & most especially in the psychedelic/shoegaze/dreampop genres of music. One such act hail from San Jose and are a collaboration of two fantastic musicians, the amazing songwriter Miss Sofia Vondell & the equally talented underground artist Horizontal Halfspear. Labelled as ‘Cross Tabou’, they have just released an absolutely stunning collection of 5 tracks on an epic EP entitled ‘Illusion And Paradise’. Their debut 10 track release, ‘Cross Tabou’, graced our ears back in September 2014 and quickly became a favourite of the online radio community because of it’s genre spanning diversity and psychedelic quality, all wrapped around the stunning Miss Vondell’s vocal line’s. ‘Illusion And Paradise’ move’s a tentative step forward from their impressive debut and take’s the listener on a psychedelic journey, leaning more towards the post-punk/shoegaze side of their sound, but with a more traditional dreampop highlight.
Track one is straight out of the Velvet Underground songwriter’s handbook. ‘Last Flight’ is absolutely stunning. Vondell’s vocal abilities take the lead and sit on top of a hauntingly beautiful guitar line. This is the entry point to what Cross Tabou can actually achieve & new listeners to their sound will instantly fall in love with them. It’s an amazing intro track. Check it out below.
Next up is the brilliant ‘Into This’, probably my favourite track on this EP. This track alone has everything that I love about this genre of music – Shoegaze, Post-Punk & DreamPop! Again the spotlight shine’s firmly on Vondell’s ability to sing. The traditional shoegaze production techniques on the vocals are pushed to one side to allow Sofia the space she deserves up front in the mix. The guitar swells are addictive and that early 90s sounding drum sequence is exquisite! A masterpiece! Check it out.
A short interlude with the gaze infused instrumental ‘Illusion And Paradise’, bring’s us nicely to the industrial sound’s of track four on his EP, ‘Writing On Wall’. On my first listen to this track I could hear Queens Of The Stone Age but without the growl! I kid you not. But it open’s out into a track with a multitude of thing’s going on in it. Post-Punk flairs litter it’s production. It has a gothic feel to it too but it stick’s firmly to its psychedelic roots. Sofia Vondell hold’s it all together with her almost Debbie Harry like vocal qualities & the production on this track is expertly achieved. Very cool track & one that need’s several listens before it really hit’s home. Check it out.
The closing track on his EP has me very intrigued indeed. We’re back to the Velvet Underground theme that captivated us early on in this EP’s opening track, but with the epic ‘Void’ there’s something else going on here entirely! There is a tiny post-rock edge to this track that is very addictive indeed. Sofia’s almost post-punk vocal lines sitting on the church organ are immense. It hark’s back to the hazy days of experimental LSD & full on factory parties. A truly captivating track. This is church music for the damned. Immense!
Overall this is a stunning piece of work by a collaborating duo who have plenty more in the tank to give as far as self releasing artists go. I’ll expect to hear more from this band towards the end of this year and I know individually they are releasing an immense body of solo work too. Do go and support them.
You can get your hands on this EP & Cross Tabou’s debut release HERE.
Del Chaney- The Primal Music Blog – February 2015 – Dublin, Ireland.
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave, but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Noise-Rock & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. His other arm, The Primal Radio Show, has gained considerable respect from band’s and promoter’s alike since it’s conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he’s passionate about. He also currently write’s for Canadian based online music webzine www.ReplicantEars.com. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.