2005 Album Review :: Hermitude ‘Tales of the Drift’
August 21st 2013
On August 29, FBi hits double digits. To celebrate, the Flog is taking a trip down memory lane: we’re counting down 10 years of albums in 10 days. We now move into 2005…
2005 :: Hermitude – Tales of the Drift
I still remember the morning, sort of…
It was but another dreary drive to school through the stale suburbia I was submerged in. I felt like my life was sawn off a block of boring, drifting along in a state of sleep-walking. The humming hymns of FBi Radio filling the interior of mum’s Honda Jazz.
And then I heard it – that sound, those siren synths, those drums that made the car feel like it left the ground… G-G-G-GALACTIC CADILLAC!
This was not only my first experience of hearing Hermitude but also one of the earliest memories I have of listening to FBi. I went out and bought Tales of the Drift soon after, and the album would go on to provide the soundtrack to much of my late adolescence. It’s still my favourite Hermitude album all these years later.
Tales is an extremely varied album, a mix of organic and jazzy drums, soulful sounds and darker more digital tones. It’s an album that manages to induce urges to boogey, beat-box and meditate all at once – a feeling that is very distinctive of Hermitude’s production.
Opening with deliciously funky tunes (most notably Can’t Stop), Tales of the Drift quickly plunges into a more abstract, doom-laded and bass driven space. There’s a touch of the exotic and oriental in the sitar-ish sounds of Nightfall’s Messenger and a ghoulish but groovy confusion found in Zacktor. The ever spicy and snappy drums maintain an addictive rhythm throughout this darker chapter culminating in the head-banging anthem that is Galactic Cadillac.
There’s a contemplative, almost melancholic feel to the more meandering, mystical final third of the album (particular Ruffwon and Mystical Herm’s) that leaves the listener feeling lost in the woods and certainly at a loss to define the journey they’ve just been on. Throw in features from Aussie hip-hop legends Urthboy and Ozi Batla on Fallen Giants and the refreshing female presence of MC Blu on Music for the Mind and you can see there’s a lot to this album.
Drifting between disparate genres and influences, this eclectic mix of tracks (or tales) is artfully tied into a leather bound book of chapters – each very different yet each sitting comfortable beside one another.
Personally, this album houses a lot of good and varied memories for me which certainly adds to my love of it. There is something about Tales of the Drift which doesn’t allow itself to get pinned down as a whole (as some albums do) by a specific memory or associated emotional hue. Maybe this is simply due to its sonic variation, maybe something more. Maybe this is simply due to the fact that I’ve listened to it so many damn times because it’s really fucking good.
For fans of Hermitude who haven’t heard it – its certainly worth visiting. For those less familiar with the duo, Tales is a fantastic display of their production prowess and I guarantee there will be at least one tale in there that grabs you.