After over a decade of collaboration, France's Tara King th. is a solo project once again. Mastermind Ray Borneo parted ways with longtime vocalist Beatrice Morel-Journel before circling back to his roots as a one-man band to record his Stellar Fantasies.
Some of the band's prevailing Broadcast influence has softened with Journel's departure, and Borneo's trip-hop days are receding ever further in the rear-view. What's perking his interest on this collection of mostly instrumental songs is an unabashed love of synth-centric galactic soundscaping. Beneath those fuzzy, gurgling layers, many of the tracks are driven by a dark pulse of '70s psychedelia with a side of throbbing Krautrock.
Stellar Fantasies is a well-produced album full of joyfully creative synth work, with plenty of Borneo's warped baroque carnival sensibilities on display. Alas, despite the vividness of the journey, few of the ideas have hooks as sharp as those on past releases. (Independent)