Talk In Colour – ColliderScope (Album Review)

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Talk In Colour are a London quintet who had their beginnings in solo effort The Shadow Orchestra. Founder Chris Bangs recorded Shadow Orchestra’s eponymous debut album in his small bedroom studio. Talk In Colour evolved out of his desire to escape the limitations of playing solo laptop sets. The five-piece first came together under the already established name of The Shadow Orchestra, before swapping it for their current one, believing it to be a more appropriate description of the band and the music they were producing.

They received notable attention last year when they’re track “Nightshifts” was used on the trailer and soundtrack for the independent British film “Junkhearts”. Combining classical and electronic instruments, Talk In Colour’s sound constantly fluctuates between moodier numbers and soaring, playful tracks. Colliderscope is the group’s debut album, and as the name suggests, it is a kaleidoscope of instruments, themes and colours, colliding dark and somber tones, with uplifting electronic beats, featuring many highlights.

First track “Intra”, is a chilling and light instrumental piece. Moving from classical instruments to electronic instruments, it establishes the group’s individual elements, pays homage to past incarnation The Shadow Orchestra, and introduces many of the soundscapes and themes to follow on the album. As an intro it works perfectly, giving a tantalising taster, which compels you to continue listening.

“Rocking Horse”, Talk in Colour’s second promotional single, is reminiscent of early Bjork with its undulating, sensual vocals. This is one of the album’s darker tracks, contrasting the album’s playful elements, with its moody cello harmonies, and tense percussion.

Their recognisable track to-date, “Nightshifts”, with its bittersweet melodies, is sandwiched between two playful tracks, “Radiophonic” and “No Other”, which bring the electronic instruments to the fore. They are energetic and uplifting, calling to mind an 8-bit video-game soundtrack.

“Rocking Horse Part II” strips away all the elements of Part I except the cello and develops the themes and emotive motifs of the original.

The most interesting thing about the album is its shape and how Talk In Colour play with the ideas suggested by the title. The tracks fluctuate between the hopeful and the melancholic, opposites which are characterised by the use of electronic and acoustic instruments respectively. The vocals are also utilised in an intriguing way, producing tonal shades for the album’s darker tracks.

Talk In Colour present a massive vista of sound on their debut album. While some of the electronic tracks towards the albums end begin to sound slightly repetitive, these do not detract from the album as a whole. ColliderScope is a highly recommended listen, which is at times both playful and thought-provoking.

ColliderScope is out July 16th on Night Cabin Records.

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