Originally recorded in 1977, following a limited release in 1979, Ghédalia Tazartès debut album, Diasporas, introduced listeners to the surreal, mysterious and truly unclassifiable statement of Tazartès and his out-of-time place in the French avant-garde canon. Born in Paris in 1947 to Judaeo-Spanish parents of Greek descent, Tazartès spent his early career as an autodidact utilizing his knowledge of repetition and collage, coupled with his Ladino linguistic heritage, to create some of the most unique recordings of the late 20th century. Interest in the works of Tazartès truly sparked when artist Steve Stapleton included his follow up album, Tazartès' Transports, in his famed “Nurse With Wound List,” thus adding endless curiosity to the folklore behind Tazartès and his mystical entrée.
From the onset of Diasporas, looping incantations seemingly pile up at the behest of Tazartès. In almost a prayer-like decree, Tazartès chants to the gods in an undefined whail that is both haunting and spiritually divine. Tazartès unique use of tape loops to capture the disappearing traditions of his family’s past creates an atmospheric texture that unexpectedly complements his cut-up, manipulated vocal experiments. While contemporaries within the French avant-garde maneuvered academic theory and rigid tradition, Diasporas strays away from these boundaries, working in Tazartès’ invented practice of ‘impromuz’, a method in which he endlessly records for hours and edits only the moments that display any sense of spontaneous enlightenment. Further emboldening the obtuse nature of Diasporas are the seemingly random recitation of poet Stéphane Mallarmé and the traditional ‘Parisian-style’ piano accompaniment of experimental composer Michel Chion.
Since its initial release over 40 years ago, both Dais Records and Alga Marghen have released reissues of Diasporas in various formats, with the initial Dais Records vinyl edition falling out of print. Dais Records presents an official reissue, newly remastered by Josh Bonati, utilizing the original artwork of Diasporas in its sole album form, for the first time in over four decades.
French cult artist Ghédalia Tazartès is an uncompromising character who defies categorization. He recorded alone a dozen of albums, calling his way of working “Impromuz” for lack of a better term. Before the years 2000s, his public appearances remained exceptional events.
Ghédalia Tazartès’ music has always been a mystery. It switches from musique concrète to – existing or invented – ethnic music, from poetry to noise, or from loops and collages to sad and extremely beautiful tunes in a second, but it constantly is in flux and coherent.
In 2004, Ghedalia finally decided to do live performances again. He first worked with other musicians (Les Reines d’Angleterre, David Fenech & Jac Berrocal, Norscq & Black Sifichi, Nicolas Lelièvre) and is now a solo performing artist (although his very young son sometimes joins him on stage!).