Post Apocalyptic…….?


These Factory Days

Tartufi are releasing their brand new album entitled These Factory Days on Southern Records on 25 March.

It is a vibrant and progressive collection of experimental music.

I have to admit I had not heard of them until this was sent through to me for consideration. So who are they you ask?

Well,  for starters you can check out this short video interview interspersed with behind the scenes footage which introduces the band and hopefully lure you into their wonderful world…

Formed in 2001, this San Francisco trio comprises Lynne Angel, Brian Gorman and Ben Thorne (Low Red Land, Minot), and apparently they  “have become well known for their loop-heavy sonic sound-scapes, overlaying harmonies, melodies and poly-rhythms”.

On first hearing the effect is pretty unique, tribal drums, post-punk bass, post-rock guitar, and seriously good layered vocals. Moving from epic post rock to gentle ambience the band creates a special listening place which is a delight to visit. I heard a lot of Krautrock, some metal, and some Eastern European melodies as well – but mostly I heard something pretty damn fine indeed.

The promo says:

“With six studio albums under their belts, these bastions of the San Francisco scene are showing no signs of slowing with the release of their new album These Factory Days (Southern Records) slated for March 2013. Building upon their musical mosaics and seamless song-craft the recent addition of  Thorne on bass has allowed the band to fully metamorphose into a three-headed creature walking the wires between chaos and cacophony, subtly and synchronicity. Whereas before Angel and Gorman preferred the whirlwind approach, favoring a systematic shock to the senses – with the addition of Thorne the band is able to utilise time and space to elicit an overall sense of total fluidity. If you thought you were in a strange alien river before then best grab a paddle because this river flows into the sea of sonic accord. As one reviewer said, “Tartufi are unafraid of venturing into a complex sonic world where post-rock, psych and experimental pop are built from endless loops and pulsing polyrhythms, then blasted off into space to see what happens. The result is a beautiful, and unpredictable, wall of sound”.
Tartufi took over a year and a half to track and mix These Factory Days, once again with the aid of Tim Green (Melvins, Howlin Rain, Joanna Newsom, Fresh & Onlys) at Louder Studios and The Hangar, and also with Scott McDowell at Hyde Street. The result is a band fully settled within their sound, secure amongst an ocean of interlocking counterweights, where you are at once upon the bright surface and walking the cavernous depths.Tartufi advance upon their layered spectrum of sound and further push the boundaries of sonic sameness and classic structure to evoke an overall sense of movement and progression. Pop songs be damned –Tartufi is a country of sound.”

These Factory Days

I don’t often find myself agreeing totally with the hyperbole which gushes forth from record promotion but in this instance I find I have to bow to the inevitable conclusion that this is one hell of an album.

Imagine, if you will, Steve Hanley’s bass, with Todd Rundgren’s production aesthetic (around the time of  A Wizard A True Star), some impressive guitar Fripp like figures and a vocal collaboration that inches towards The Cocteau Twins (without the ethereal bits) mixed in with the  Nicks/Buckingham/McVie  combination at their best – and you are getting close to at least one small part of the album.

Clearly a serious amount of effort has gone into putting this together. I don’t often to listen to most albums more than two or three times these days, due to the pile of CDs that are glowering at me from the edge of the workspace, but this one has been getting a hell of a hammering since I got it several days ago.

At times I thought I was listening to Native American music mixed in with a GS!YBE wig-out and at other times I could have been at a celidh in a slightly parallel universe. There are recognisable elements of the current Americana movement but the drums, bass, guitar take this to another place entirely. As immediately compelling as Fucked Ups “David Comes To Life” and, dare I say it, probably better.

Utterly unique and rather marvellous say I, and it will get a serious amount of play on the podcasts over the next few weeks.


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