Instant Light

Tar Of

Glass Orchards Records, 2020

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Tar Of is a Brooklyn duo comprised of Ariyan Basu and Ramin Rahni. The pair is just as likely to produce fascinating art pop as they are quirky unidentifiable noises on this third album that was expertly produced by Rusty Santos (Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors).

“Bouts” starts the unclassifiable listen with a flurry of crashing percussion as soulful vocals provide some tunefulness under the experimental racket, and “Rumi” continues the iconoclastic approach with mesmerizing chanting alongside a hazy setting. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

There's a massive 22 tracks included, but about a third don't even hit the minute mark, as the pair keep shifting gears from the haunting meets spacey drone of “Feel Time Multiply.” Meanwhile, “Jaan” is a mere 24 second bust of glorious, ambient pop. “Temescal,” which at over two minutes feels like a more “proper” tune, finds a dreamy place to reside under a hypnotic guitar line and soothing, layered vocals.

Closer to the end, “Dead Pet” isn't as morbid as it seems, as playful percussion and buzzing synth build into a languid version of cautious indie-rock, and “Lie To” screeches with an aberrant quality to its artistic yet abrasive approach. The title track exits the listen and covers many different textures in its kaleidoscope version of pop that illustrates an unconventional and no doubt ultra-creative vision. 

Although there's certainly very little out there that you could compare Tar Of to, traces of the Beach Boys, Van Dyke Parks, and the curious brand of outsider that the Galtta label is currently putting out can be found amid the old demos, phone recordings, subtle banjos, charming clarinets ,and even memorable vocal harmonies present here.

This release is extremely limited, with only 50 copies of it, and like much of the modern eccentric forms of bedroom pop, it's physically only available on a cassette. If this were 1990, I'd be dubbing copies of this for all my friends and sharing with them my new, favorite obscure band.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2020 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Glass Orchards Records, and is used for informational purposes only.