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Tau - Tau Tau Tau album review

Former Dead Skeleton channels Bowie’s death in the desert

Tau - Tau Tau Tau album cover

On his first album as Tau, Dublin-born Berliner Shaun Nunutzi, formerly of mantric psych rockers Dead Skeleton, joins forces with Venezuelan multi-instrumentalist Gerald Pasqualin to fashion an album expressing the inspirational power and mystic wonder of North Mexico’s desertscapes. If that wasn’t esoteric enough, recording began on January 11, 2016 – the day Bowie died.

The resultant Tau Tau Tau is, Nunutzi says, “a celebration of what it means to be an artist: the abstract thinking, the trickster and non-conformist”. Recorded using an altar and some incense, Mother isn’t far off a Hari Krishna chant, its ‘heya-heya-heya-ho’ refrain verging on comic. The Bridge Of Khajou sounds like Donovan in astral pixie mode circa 1969.

Mo Anam Cara was written “haunted by the ghost of Arthur Lee’s Love” and does indeed have the eerie gentleness of Forever Changes. On The Midnight Jaguar Nunutzi bellows like an intoxicated vagrant over ominous freakbeat while on Espiral he appears to be speaking in tongues. Venadito would be perfect to do a rain dance to and Kauyumari could be used for meditational purposes. Teetering between the earnest and parodic, it’s certainly different.

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.