Simon Thacker’s Ritmata – “Taradh”, as appeared in March 2020 Songlines magazine.


Slap The Moon Records (56 mins)


Although the quartet have been making music together since 2006, this is Simon Thacker’s Ritmata’s debut album. It is worth the wait. Taradh is the Gaelic term for the premonitory echo of an absent person, which guitarist and composer Simon Thacker feels describes his personal experience of creating music, as if the music comes from outside of him.

The contributions of three of Scotland’s most versatile jazz musicians – pianist Paul Harrison, drummer Stuart Brown and bassist Andrew Robb – ensure the album sits in that fecund territory where Western classical and jazz meet. However, flamenco and Indian forms are prominent too, with helpful liner notes discussing the rich end result.

Nine tracks are composed or re-imagined by a mostly centre-stage Thacker, the tight sound tapestry loosening up regularly with passages of group improvisation. As is usual for a Thacker album (he’s released several with other groups), there is one especially quirky track. On Taradh this would be ‘Taijasa’, largely improvised and involving prepared guitar and extended percussion. Another highlight is Sephardic song ‘Muero Yo De Amor’, sung in Ladino by Spanish guest, cantadora Angeles Toledano, while the impressive ‘Quadriga In 5’ has already been nominated for The Ivors Composer Award.

Track to try: Des Oge Mais

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *