Falgar is a solo project of Etienne Tel’uial, a Vermontian originally stemming from Puerto Rico. Active since 2007, the project spent years as a black metal constellation but eventually moved over to a kind of atmospheric neofolk. En La Vanguardia is a release of the latter category, originally manifesting itself digitally in 2016. It is now being given a physical life by Lighten Up Sounds on Type II chrome cassette, limited to 70 copies.
The music is soft-spoken, slow paced and rather relaxing. More reminiscent of Of The Wand And the Moon or Nature and Organisation than of Death In June or Current 93, Falgar keeps the edges soft. Any remaining blackness resides rather in melancholy melodies and a slightly rough-around the edges production than in any drastic or violent sonic experiments. Carefully placed percussion, strings laced with reverb and pleasant vocals all play a role here, most of the time. Previously unreleased bonus track “Tu Oscuridad” goes for pure, synthesizer based ambient, and there are a few other tracks which move closer to drone and ambient.
The moods flowing throughout the tape are romantic and dreamlike – clouds, cozy natural environments and summer days gone by (perhaps many centuries ago). There’s a strong Southern European vibe, with dilapidated Doric columns rising towards a bright blue Greek sky. Having already mentioned Nature And Organisation, it might also make sense to name-drop The Wicker Man (1973), since there are quite a few similarities between that soundtrack and this recording, in melody and atmosphere alike, to be found here. A final possible influence would be Renaissance Christian vocal music – while “Fuego en la Noche” has a clear beat and instrumentation, the vocals do have a touch of Carissimi. Perhaps I’m overreaching, but hey, that’s what I’m here for.
This recording is great, and if you’re at all into obscure folk this would be six dollars well spent. The tape is available from the Lighten Up Sounds’ store or Bandcamp (where there is also slightly cheaper, digital version available).