I had never heard of Tauk nor had I heard their music prior to giving the new album Homunculus a listen. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that I had the opportunity to discover a new band with such a unique sound. Immediately from the first song, “Dead Signal”, I knew that these boys were not just your average garage band playing around with instruments. It is evident that each individual is a musician, and a talented one at that. The entire album is filled with psychedelic-jazz guitar riffs and trancey loops that keep their sound light and organic with a very subtle electronic undertone. The album is instrumental front to back, but even without vocals each individual song is so complex and layered that the void is easily filled.
A personal favorite was track number five, “The Chemist.” The blend of man and machine is at a perfect split in this song. The guitar is hard and heavy and rips through the electronic loops elevating each intricate note. Just when you think the song ends it comes back even harder than before. “The Chemist” is followed by a much more laid back song, “Dirty Mouth.” I was blown away by the highs and lows that they created within this five minute song. They take what could have been a relatively simple jam and add subtleties that create a whole other world within the music. “Curtain Call” starts off with heavy drum influence and veers off into very slow, melodic guitar. Parts of the song broke away with organ and keys which created a very unique sound. Another personal favorite was “When in Doubt.” The song starts off very melancholy and slow but is picked up by the drums and keys. For a relatively slow tempo song “When in Doubt” is very hard-hitting. The entire album was nothing short of phenomenal these boys certainly did not disappoint a first time listener.
Editor Pete Mason had the chance to sit down with the guys of Tauk at this years Summer Camp Music Festival. When asked to explain the meaning behind their new album’s name, they said Homunculous has multiple meanings, varying in sound and not restricted; this can be taken within many interpretations, among them ‘the mind within the mind’ and ‘an inherent force.’
Tauk has been throughout Upstate recently, playing with Aqueous in Buffalo, as well as in Ithaca and New Paltz. They also played this year’s snoe.down Festival which they spoke very highly of for themselves and the audience. They were happy to get a longer set which allowed them to experiment freely and immerse themselves within each song as opposed to compacting their songs and jams within a stricter set time. Their brand of psychedelic improv gives them the space they need to completely redirect their jams in any direction without constriction.
If you like jam, funk, electronic, rock, fusion or pretty much music in general you will enjoy Homonculus. You can catch Tauk at Floyd Fest, July 25th in Floyd, Virginia and Maz Fest August 1-4 in Roscoe, NY.
Key Tracks: Dirty Mouth, The Chemist, When in Doubt
1. Dead Signal
3. Hello Narwhal
4. The Spot
5. The Chemist
6. Dirty Mouth
7. Curtain Call
8. Carpentino’s Rebirth
9. When in Doubt
10. In The Basement of the Alamo