Review - Sherpa The Tiger - 'Ithkuil' (Album - Fuzz Club Records)
The sophomore album from Lviv, Ukraine prog / krautrock / electronic band Sherpa The Tiger is an atmospheric, intricate, beautifully played piece of music full of nuance, lyricism and style. Debut album 'Great Vowel Shift' was centred around vintage synths, ambient textures and motorik grooves, and while these attributes remain on 'Ithkuil', there is a lot more of an organic feel to the record with more sophisticated arrangements, layered textures and a more band-orientated approach. It's a fine record that all prog and electronic fans will enjoy.
From the short and sweet 'L'Espirit D'Escalier' with its insistent piano motif, you're led into the Neu-like groove of 'Dijon' with some funky keyboard breaks and intricate guitar playing before exploding in its final two minutes with a barrage of keyboards and guitar lines. 'Eschervsklimt' channels the keyboard - heavy prog bands of the early 70s such as Greenslade and the Canterbury bands and finds time for a lovely languid outro. 'Stolen Numbers' sombre organ intro leads into a gorgeous flute led section over pulsating synths, before breaking out into a rockier end section where flute and guitar combine in a thrilling finish. 'Special Narada's nine minutes stretches out in fine fashion and has room for jazzy, bass-led sections, chanting vocals, sudden bursts of noise and more intricate, fluid guitar playing. The Floydian keyboards and insistent riffing of 'Penrose Triangle' leads into the final track of the album, 'Bokeh', which brings back the Neu-like motorik drumming and has jaunty synth work and a 'breezy' feel - a fabulous finish to this excellent album.
Prog, Krautrock and Electronic fans will find loads to enjoy in this new album from Sherpa The Tiger and is well worth investigation. Fantastically put together arrangements coupled with fine playing ticks all the right boxes on seven (largely) instrumental tunes that, given room to breathe and stretch out results in a fine addition to the band's oeuvre. Let's hope there is much more music to come from this fine outfit.
'Ithkuil' is available from all the major digital sites and from the Fuzz Club Records Bandcamp page - www.fuzzclub.bandcamp.com