Say Psych: Album Review: Tajak – Amsterdam 211

After a string of highly successful and well attended UK dates last year, Mexico’s Tajak have been picked up by Dirty Filthy Records to offer their debut release, Amsterdam 211, a vinyl outing.

Titled after the place where it was born, Amsterdam 211 is the language that Tajak has worked around their short existence as a trio, looking for forms and textures in the way the band relates to its surroundings and goes beyond a genre or a sound movement, this new work is the compilation of different genres that agglomerated in this plate, seem to gradually generate their own language. The LP is the clearest manifesto of the moment where the band was at that time, its vision of the world, of its interior as individual members, its conception of the music and the pretension of the musical labels, of which they play a recursive role. Taken from what could at times evoke kraut, noise, or the dirtiest psychedelia, the band tries to compile everything in their own unique way. An ambitious album, that faces realities of its present, and where they want to work the way of its sound, its optics and its dominion of the territory where they wander.

They open with a short track, ‘Sibnosis’ which sets the scene for what is to come and if you don’t like the first track, chances are you won’t like the rest. Highlights come in the form of ‘I’m In Your Head’ a raucous noise number that is held together by racing beats and fuzz laden guitar riffs. ‘Crack Me Open’ is slower and more melodic, with haunting repetition that you’ll be humming for days and ‘Drowned’ has ethereal reverberating vocals. ‘Blind Inside (El 20 que me debes) is without doubt the stand out track with its hazy vocals, slowed down motorik beat and affected riff. It’s the type of track that could invoke very personal imagery based on the listeners own experiences. ‘Wasn’t’ however couldn’t be anymore different, with a pulsating punk feel that leaves you breathless.

This is a strong LP from start to finish, with tracks that constantly leave you wanting more due to their altering musical styles. Tajak have proved that they have what it takes, lets hope they offer something new up soon.

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