Auto Da Fe Live
Auto Da Fe play songs from the upcoming LP 'Emit Time' and sprinkle in some reworked Chinese classical pieces for good measure. Pan-global instrumentation includes yang qin, guzheng, tambur, bouzouki, tablas, wood marimba, balalaika, handmade electric zithers, Gothic harp, Chinese banjo, Tibetan temple cymbals and bells as well as traditional guitar, bass, trumpet, and drums.
Auto Da Fe was formed out of Amps For Christ practices by Tara Tavi, Martin Kvisvic, and Joel Connell. The CD "The Spectre" was released in May, 2006 on Secret Eye Recordings. A comp track was on "False Object Sensors", put out by Vermiform Records in 2001. Leandra Gil is on percussion. Erin Barnes occasionally plays hurdy gurdy, cello and frame drums.
From allmusic: Using a brilliantly mismatched arsenal of traditional instruments, the two of them shatter cultural and political frontiers. Through the course of the 18 tracks on The Spectre, the listener is treated to guzheng (a Chinese zither), Tibetan cymbals, tambur, balalaika (a Russian lute), bouzouki, and various bowed instruments, in addition to gothic harp, tablas (performed by guest musicians), and more conventional (i.e., Western) instruments.
The songs mimic folk styles to add to the cultural confusion. For instance, "Past Times" sounds very much like an old English song, except that Tavi's voice is backed by guzheng. Following a similar logic, "Ne'er Do Will" could be a skip-rope rhyme, "Huar Weishenme" could be a Jewish lament, and "The Spectre" might be a frantic Eastern European instrumental tune.
But the instrumentation always sends such issues out the window. What is left is this duo's unbridled creativity, their knowledgeable disregard toward tradition, and Tara Tavi's voice, at times charming, haunting, or scary.
Several guests contribute to the sound palette, including members of Man Is the Bastard. The overall attitude is definitely that of the underground folk scene, but ignores its improvisational/jam aspect; The Spectre is thoroughly composed and focuses on catchy -- if unpredictably arranged -- tunes. A find to treasure and one of the truly surprising albums of 2006.