Talibam! From The Deep Archive

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Talibam! is nearly impossible to pin down. Both men, drummer Kevin Shea and
Mottel, spend

the majority of any given year on the road in the US and Europe,
whether it be with Talibam! or their various other projects. It is a metaphor
for their sound: it will never stay in one place, but will remain completely
recognizable and true to its spirit. It seems the duo has embraced flux as their
modus operandi.

Talibam! presents a collage of sounds, rapidly and fiercely, often not allowing
time for the listener's mind to adjust before moving on. Their show at the Echo
Curio consisted of 35 songs in 40 minutes.

The drumming is always "out", jazzy, freaky, and swinging, even when it settles
into a heavy, doom-laden groove for a minute. Shea is a skilled and formally
trained drummer who seems completely bored by conventionality and uses his
gift to forge a wild new style. His set up includes a Roland SPS drum trigger pad,
which he uses to introduce anomalistic sounds to his pallet. Shea is able to play
completely around the beat while keeping within it, creating very abstract beats,
which push the music forward always. Mottel is surely his equal in skill, fearlessly
shredding throughout gigs and recordings both. The curious thing about Talibam!
is that they have fantastic chops and pro skills yet they have decided largely to
deconstruct music to find a home for their talents.

Live, Talibam! comes across as an untamed beast of sorts. Mottel and Shea
fancy themselves a party band, which I can definitely see, but it seems that many
audiences don't know how to digest the music. Folks look dumbfounded. There is
definitely a good amount of smiling and head bobbing but also plenty of puzzled
looks. Talibam! is a band that

I describe foremost as a free-jazz-punk-comedy
duo. Their set also encompasses elements of electronic and dance music,
trance, heavy sludge, pop, chants and cheers, and sing-a-longs. No matter
what, it always swings and is always high energy and kinetic. It is marked with
confidence, attitude, and elan, and often feels as if it is on the cusp of derailment.
I loved all of the 40-minute set, although there was about a 3-minute period of
ecstasy where I was overcome by the muse of dance and thrashed as if Talibam!
were my puppet master. It was serious.

Talibam's last proper studio release "Boogie in the Breeze Blocks" is a testament
to all the thoughts voiced above. It is mercurial and fanciful yet completely well
crafted and vastly enjoyable; its police scanner comedy sketches are hilarious
highlights; it has a heavy crew of collaborators; and it was released by the
legendary jazz label ESP. Their upcoming release is to be a hip hop foray
called "Puff Up the Volume". The direction of the album was forged by an odd
event, whereas a gong fell on and broke Shea's foot during a dance performance
in Europe, just prior to their entry into the studio to record. I can't wait to wrap my
ears around this one.

Enjoy the live recording presented here. Drink some Kombucha because
Talibam! would. Thanks to Grant from the Echo Curio for the recording
hook up!


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