A duo that has since been transformed into a trio, Holy Tongue is yet another of the miracles to come out of Valentina Magaletti’s hands. If in recent years the multifaceted percussionist has made a name for herself both for her solo work and her countless collaborations, the ground she walks on now seems as fertile as ever. The language of her technique, together with the vision of someone who sees no horizons, make each adventure, each album or each performance small excerpts from a story that is being written at this very moment. Tomaga, Moin, Better Corners or Vanishing Twin are just some of Magaletti’s many incarnations – in a long list that is still being drawn up. In Holy Tongue he commands a tribal, dub-inspired beat and the possible intersections with the coordinates left by some post-punk fringe. Alongside Al Woolton (the electronic and sampling boss) and Susumu Mukai (on strings, and with Jah Wobble in his soul), he forms an excellent triangulation of talent and originality.
There is tension, breath and good idleness in these designs. The reverberations of a smoky Jamaica flirting with sonic machinery recall the marvellous incursions of good people like New Age Steppers, ESG or African Head Charge. However, the material is even purer on Holy Tongue; winding directions, vertiginous at times, in which the rawness of each element leads to the promise of a futuristic primitivism. Where others seek ascension, here the fire is stoked at low heat. Sprinkle the flames with shamanism and sci-fi symbolism when necessary – and other worlds and other dances emerge.
Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare landed in 2023 as a bizarre and magnetic object, in one of the most inspired encounters of the year. It comes after a brilliant trilogy of EPs in the past, essential pieces for what was to come. A hypnotic disc like few others of its time, full of imagination and invention. An obligatory listen from a band (let’s not call them a project) that has found the spirit of the Caribbean among the concrete of the city. Live, the trio gains muscle and the creative dynamic you feel on disc naturally leaps off the stage. To witness. NA