A cross between Dead Can Dance and New Age tropes.
Täyu are a duo I came across when following the Sound Healing Academy on Youtube. It is a very hippy centre that uses sound baths and focused meditation to heal someone. Whilst I’m not sure what to make of it all science wise (sound waves and frequencies rather than spiritual practices), I do find sound baths incredibly relaxing. Two members of the Sound Healing Academy have formed a duo called Täyu and released their debut album ‘Incantation’ last year. I was late to the party and only recently picked it up and it is a delightful album for new age and idioglossia fans.
Across the album’s seven tracks, five are long epic pieces that incorporate various different tribal rhythms or instruments. These are the heart of the album and often last for six or seven minutes as a hypnotic and ever-shifting melody. The title track opens the album with crickets and forest noises before skin drums and fire spits pound in over synth drones. It is then the vocals of Myriad comes through and hits you. She doesn’t sing with words, she sings from the heart (idioglossia) and so weaves chants, coo’s and bellows depending on her mood with the music. The result is a siren-like command over the music that bends to her whim. For the title track, the percussive machine is joined by crazed Indian styled guitars from Mahhrk. It is a powerful introduction to Täyu that consistently evolves its sound over time.
‘Gaia’ is a beautiful ballad of acoustic guitar and strings where Myriad’s voice is interwoven with distant chants that fade in and out from tribespeople, It has a cross over the feel of Celtic and Norse music with Javan or Indonesian chants too boot and sounds unique to new age music. ‘Breathe’ is a slinky slow-burn symphonic rock ballad. With a full band behind her, Myriad sings like a soothing cool breeze against weathered instruments. The string arrangement here is particularly beautiful as the song twists around like a mirage of slightly uneasy chords. The witchiness and Wendy Rule vibe are strong in this one.
‘Enchanted Forest’ pulls us into the swamps and jungles of South America and Asia. Digeridoos, atonal vocal noises, animal squawks and guiros all play off each other in a humid smoky atmospheric piece. It sounds like the wildlife has come out to party and to prey on you during the night time. It balances a threatening aura with being rhythmic and the udu pot’s ‘boing’ is key to adding in that playful element. The album closes with ‘Shores of Atlantis’ where water laps against the listeners’ ears over cavernous synth drones, whistles, bells, drums and ancient guitars. Also included are two short transition tracks. ‘Prayer’ features Myriad’s voice whilst ‘Ahimsa’ features Mahhrk’s guitar skills. All together it forms a peaceful and mystical experience that I was completely lost in.
Täyu have tons of musical talent. The duo is able to craft melodic new age hybrids of different cultures and stitch them together using loads of instruments and a special voice that should be considered as one of the strongest and most evocative in the new age scene. What drew me in was that Täyu isn’t afraid to show that mystical means a balance of beauty, intrigue and unease and they balance this perfectly. New age and world music fans – don’t sleep on this one. It is a corker.
Recommended track: Gaia
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