Dreams For Imaginary Puppet Show On The Radio
(2020 - Melodic Revolution Records -USA)
If it is possible, Babal can make it happen. On this sixth albun (they have lots of EPs too) they go into the beautiful broad world of cinematic fusion, creating a surprisingly audio soundtrack of sorts. This being a mostly instrumental 13 tracks of provocative music to accompany a theme they brought to life for an imaginary puppet show on the radio, to bring back the days of sitting by the near extinct exercise of listening to am/fm with nothing but your ears and imagination. Such a fitting concept. In the same way many of us (me!) sit quietly in a private room and listen deeply to our nice stereo and have visuals go through our heads as each song plays, the idea of this album slides right into that place. While very comfortable, one must put forth effort to be attentive to the music.
Rob Williams continues to impress me with both his playing skills and compositional savvy. Karen Langley also sits right next to him with her creative voice, this time using it for effects and colorful touches. A full lyrical version is planned for the future but let it be known, this release is supreme as is. Tracks 3, 9, 10, and 12 feature Karen's dramatic and outstanding vocal chords. You've not heard her exactly like this before. A perfect collaboration of the pair along with drums by Jon Sharp. Layers peeled back expose former milestones of Fripp & Eno ('Evening Star'), Michael Rother (of Neu!/Harmonia fame) in his solo almost chill music adventures like 'Flammende Herzen' and 'Sterntaler' (he has many others), Vini Reilly (also well known for his The Durutti Column), and influences of post rock (the more spacial of Explosions In The Sky, etc), with varied acoustic and electric minimalist work touches. Simply gorgeous stuff mixed with a more pronounced progressive (Frippiod) arpeggio complexity.
You are challenged (more at welcomed) to use your own imagination. In fact Babal is offering a prize to those listeners who send in their visual creations in words. So enjoy and go deep into this new world that the band has opened a new door to. Babal is a favorite group of mine as they continue to bring new things to the table. Never boring, never staying in one place too long, just keeping on keeping on. After that limited edition 2 GB flash drive 'HELLISH INTERLUDE' previous release, which was a giant treat, this new one 'DREAMS FOR IMAGINARY PUPPET SHOWS ON THE RADIO' is like having another birthday present. By the way, the physical package is also beautiful with green vinyl-like disc, and intriguing artwork, all in 4 panel digi-pak. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 9 - 4 - 2020