ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Babal - 2019 - "The Big Everything"

(35:50; Babal)


Babal have had an interesting path to get to this point, combined with a refusal to conform to what anyone may actually expect of them. It is virtually impossible to pull together a complete discography as the guys live for their music and it is up to us to figure it out, and while they have been operating under the name Babal for some years they were previously known as Babble, and before that as Wise Children. In 2018 they released ‘The Circle of Confusion of Tongues’ which is the first part of a trilogy of albums. The second part is not a single album, but rather three EP’s, which combine together. The first of these was “The Glacier”, and “The Big Everything” is the second. The trio of Karen Langley (vocals), Rob Williams (guitars and synths) and Jon Sharp (drums) combine to form music which is a combination of performance art, space rock, krautrock, Talking Heads, RIO and experimentation to create something which is quite different to most other forms of progressive rock out there, but truly is that. For some reason they are listed on ProgArchives as crossover, but to my ears that is in the sense of them crossing over many sub genres as opposed to being the more commercial aspect that is normally associated with that sub, as this is eclectic in just so many way. Just two songs on this EP, with the title cut being nearly 20 minutes in length and “Beggars To Chance” nearly 9. One thing I noticed with “The Big Everything” is that even though it is a long track, it certainly doesn’t feel that way and I was soon dragged into the mysterious world which is Babal. Rob sent me a link to a live video of theirs, and as soon as I saw it everything fell into place and suddenly all their music made sense. The visual element of their music is incredibly important, and having now seen this, I know what they are doing. It meant I approached the two most recent releases quite differently to the album itself, which for some reason I never really got on top of, but now I understand the music far more. This is intriguing, complex, complicated, bringing in many different influences, and even atonal singing which makes total sense when it appears even if it is nothing like how Karen normally sounds. Well worth investigating.

Progtector: April 2020

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