Teho Teardo – Ballyturk

Album Review by Will Fitzpatrick | 26 Nov 2014
  • Teho Teardo – Ballyturk
Album title: Ballyturk
Artist: Teho Teardo
Label: Specula
Release date: 1 Dec

An accompaniment to Enda Walsh’s play of the same title, Teho Teardo’s latest offering is a beguiling, befuddling and downright captivating work. The sumptuous misery of I Thought We Knew Everything There Was To Know showcases this collection at its best: portentous bass tones, courtesy of Fugazi’s Joe Lally, ring out mournfully before decaying underneath gentle chimes and minimalist guitar motifs.

It’s eventually all swallowed up in ethereally beautiful chaos, deftly playing with our senses of unease and curiosity, while the voices of Cillian Murphy and Mikel Murfi add to the desolate gloom by intoning solemn excerpts from Walsh’s script at tactful intervals. “I didn’t know dust buzzed,” confesses the former worriedly, with the ridiculousness of the phrase engulfed in a murky despair as thick as winter fog. To describe it as ‘majestic’ feels somehow inadequate. 

You could tie this into post-rock if you really wanted; the dominance of texture over melody certainly places proceedings in that vein, and there are times when the darkness of mood recalls Godspeed You! Black Emperor at their most subtle. It’s worth remembering, of course, that soundtrack music is designed to light the background rather than fully occupy the consciousness. Still, even in the shadows, Teardo simply dazzles. [Will Fitzpatrick]