|Marchand, Erik & Les Balkaniks / Pruna|
|Add Date:||2004-09-20|| ||Pull Date:||2004-11-21|| ||Charts:||Reggae/World|
|Week Ending:||14 Nov||31 Oct||17 Oct||10 Oct||3 Oct||26 Sep|
Artist: Marchand, Erik and Les Balkaniks|
Label: Harmonia Mundi
Contemporary pan-Balkan folk, with gypsy, Turkish and Brittany
influences. Sometimes comic, sometimes deeply felt, and other times
just party music. The Turkish influences and odd time signatures give
the album an exotic feel. The music is, for me, highly visually
evocative. All of the players have great chops, although I
particularly noticed the clarinet and accordion. Good liner notes.
The paired tracks (3&4, 5&6, 10&11) combine slow and fast, and work
well played consecutively. 1, 8 and 11 work well by themselves.
1) Male vocals, rubber clarinet, then percussion and trumpet. Think
Turkish-procession. Later, clarinet solo. Abruptly shifts
gears—faster tempo, accordion, more dance-like. In 7/8.
2) Brass, clarinet, sax, accordion, male vocals. More European
sounding than previous track. I imagined lyrics about drinking, and
assassinating Austrian nobility.
3) This track really toward the end, though it starts off slowly.
Titled "The Tragedies of War" along w/ track 4. Begins with heavy
2-beat, with male vocals, then accordion solo.
4) Short male solo voice intro. Faster, 5/4 syncopated rhythm, then
even faster 2-beat.
5) Male solo vocals alternating with clarinet ostenado.
6) Fast 2-beat accordion, clarinet, and snake-charmer, saxes. Frentic pace.
7) Rubber clarinet solo, then slow heavy ensemble, Balkan sound.
8) 7/4 time signature. Alternating male vocals, instrumental chorus.
Violin, accordion, clarinet, trumpet. Cheerful melody, lyrics, in
Serbian, are about drinking, and plums. Wild clarinet solo.
9) Slow, free soprano sax solo, 1:10 male voice, same slow tempo.
Later, speeds up, and alternates between 3/4 and 5/8 time, with
alternating violin and voice solos. Ends with reprise of 1st, slow
10) Again, starts with free soprano sax solo, then solo clarinet. No
other instruments or vocals. Exotic, and wistful.
11) Cheerful dance tune, with alternating male vocals, and
snake-charmer led instrumental chorus. About half way through, a
great groove develops with a tenor-voiced string instrument providing
a cool bass line. Great clarinet solo. Recommended.