Taurpis Tula

Formed in Philadelphia, USA in 2003 Taurpis Tula began as a duo of David Keenan (best known as an author, critic and regular contributor to The Wire magazine) on guitar and Heather Leigh Murray (Charalambides / Scorces) on pedal steel and vocals. Their sound began to evolve almost instantly, from gorgeously snowy Desolation Row chimes into an uninhibited search for something between the corporeal and the spiritual. Following on from their beautifully-bleak debut LP, “Sparrows”, released by Eclipse Records, their self-released “Caught in the Teeth of it” CD-R established contact with the sound of dreams broken down, day by day by day. The duo had plumbed into a thick living sound that wasn’t afraid to bear its teeth. The addition of Alex Neilson (Jandek / Directing Hand) in 2005 brought in a whole other world of tones, percussion and a supple force. His growing back catalogue is already unwittingly fleshing out a myth, taking traditional musics into the unknown.

Keenan’s guitar work is a constant rise and fall, elegant bow work coming face to face with bruising moments of spent energy and form-destroying acid rock. Clusters of notes are found and span off into decaying loops, like mini Basinski meditations. Heather Leigh Murray manages both intricate contact and a ferocious mauling of her pedal steel, which can either colour or violate the air around her. Multiple tones spilling across the audience like the currents from pterodactyl sized dragonflies, the blasts coming somewhere between the blissed out and the demented. Their “Steel Rods Bruise Butterflies” CDR of that same year captures perfectly this improvisational communication and vigour of the newly minted line-up, and was listed as one of Byron Coley and Thurston Moore’s Albums Of The Year in Arthur magazine.

The bands ability to leap as one into the white, without nods and cues, proves that telepathy exists in a (and as a) very real sense. There’s communal restraint before the joys of freefall, the sounds uniting into one path with three heads still lost in their own worlds.

The trio also run the Glasgow’s Volcanic Tongue store as well as the label of the same name (whaddya mean you haven’t picked up the Dream/Aktion Unit debut?!); so you can feel safe in the knowledge that they know the shit from the Shining. Past live performances have already put them in the running for the mantle of the first trio of the 00s to pick up where the thread that Ayler left behind. It’s only the lack of a hi-fidelity double LP with mandala gatefold that’s keeping them out of the history books. Expect black wings to burst from your spines, immolation, rapture and the subtlest of touches.

Bio by Scott McKeating

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