Bat 1, Mursego

Independiente, Spain
Rating: 79
By Carlos Reyes

Mursego is the strange and obscure project from Maite Arroitajauregi; we know very little about her except that her performances found on YouTube are marvelous and her first installment Bat 1 is an impressive perhaps too mysterious revelation from a name we’re sure to keep on mind for a while. Bat 1 lacks any form of location and time-frame, opening its wing to a line of languages, genres and ideas, very much like Emilio Jose’s Chorando Aprendese and Za!’s Macumba o Muerte this is a trip to a bunch of exotic places, or as some observers have caught, a new approach to middle-eastern ground through a revolting sepia-toned sound.

This approach of exoticism is well introduced by Maite’s raspy vocals; they really intensify the very terrestrial vibe of seven songs that, for the best or the worst lack strike to be profound. From shimmy chants to straight-out demanding songs, Mursego’s bold and confident record manages to shield itself from the vulnerable folky-progressive album it could’ve been; instead, it adjusts to pop’s enchantment, very much like Micachu and the Shapes. In fact, “Subir Arriba, Baixar Abaixo” sounds very much like Micachu’s brilliant post-punk album Jewellery, instead of the overflow of clashes Mursego opts to keep its sense of depth with violins & taps. “Bals de Sorcieres” is a mysterious, hardcore instrumental opener, again utilizing chords to create a misty atmosphere which is given continuum in “Tanqueray”, which features soprano-like vocals that underline her virtuous range.

The much discussed Manos de Topo gets some love in “Zuuu” (what an appropriate title), it’s a hilarious homage to “Tortilla”, one of my favorite tracks from El Primero Era Mejor. This piece also reminded me of Bebe and her Gitano village shouts. “My Laptopiste” is a song to get lost in, it’s a space for unsecured feelings to resolve peace once and for all. She also works with more abstract themes in “Down by the Water”, an ideal track for those Dirty Projectors fans. The concluding track “Hiru Errege Maila” returns to the violin fest, here at a much rapid speed to give it a nice round closing, or keep its thrilling mystery rolling.