Charlatan is the dark-wave project of Omar Rashan from Seattle in the USA.

Charlatan - photo credit Shane - Thee Lord Fotog

Charlatan – photo credit Shane – Thee Lord Fotog

If ever music needed flickering candles, a foggy night and a dank cellar Charlatan is the exemplifier. Swirling electronics weave mystical shapes in the shadows as the subsumed vocal spills forth around an echoing chamber with percussion unstoppably progressing like a poorly disposed oppressor, whilst guitar flays welts into the skin.

There is a sensual beauty in the grinding melancholia that strokes the ear as Charlatan delivers a subcutaneous injection of sounds that numb into the marrow-bones whilst massaging the membrane leaving the audience mesmerised by the combinations of the dark threatening menace while simultaneously wanting to hear more of the luscious dark purple textures.

With a catalogue dating back a few years, there is plenty to enjoy and the most recent addition, the ten track LP Supermax (available on bandcamp) is more than worthy of adding to the collection for moments when you are contemplating brooding introspection. Not something to take to put on a wedding celebration playlist, rather to enjoy in company with those of darker temperament.

Whilst any track is worth a feature I particularly enjoy Every War Is A Civil War with the additional rendition of pipes, which feature more prominently towards the latter moments, giving the track an even more spectral mood.


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