From Massís central to the shores of the Black Sea
The year is still young and we could open the ears for new albums from France, Hungary and Italy/ Turkey. I will tell you why.
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I. Mónika Lakatos
Pálinka is a dance song on the new album by Mónika Lakatos and the Gipsy voices. There are only a few singers from Hungary that are immediately recognisable, Monika Lakatos is definitely one of them, with her emotional timbre and flying chanting. Jóska bácsi, another dance song from the Olah-Romani culture, tells of a man who has come a long way, Uncle Jóska. He is wealthy and respected in the community, a positive role model, so to speak. No other artist is as concerned about cultural exchange and mutual respect between the Hungarian majority and the Roma minority in her homeland as Mónika Lakatos. She won the Womex award in 2020, because her albums save Roma songs and scat singing from oblivion. And „Hangszín“ by Mónika Lakatos and the Gipsy voices also marks the beginning of a new era, because her daughter Dzsenifer Rostás is one of the four singers in this ensemble. The elegiac and more melancholic songs remain in the memory and they also pay ta great tribut to Hungarian folk heritage, when they sing "Elment a madárka", a beautiful Hungarian folk song from the Moldavian region in Romania.
Performer Mónika Lakatos and the Gipsy voices
Label FECD 073 Music Hungary Zeneműkiadó/ FolkEurópa Kiadó,
Distributed by Hangvető Zenei Terjesztő.
Foto Farkas András
II. San Salvador
A europe of the regions is represented with this deep look into new Occitan traditions. I have rarely heard so much familiarity, sense of rhythm and passion as in the San Salvador sextet. Since childhood these musicians from the French village of Saint-Salvadour sang together. But they have emancipated themselves from the traditional repertoire to create their own trancy folk music. They draw from punk, rock and dance music and their album "La Grande Folie" seeks healing in ecstatic swelling rhythms. Yet this band's polyphonic singing is coloured in the tradition of their home region in France's Massif Central, in Occitan language Massís central. Historically, such songs were sung in Occitan culture while dancing or working. But they are often about existential questions, like a song from World War I that asks that politicians also be called to the front. Their cyclical character and rituality give these songs a strong pull, which soakes you in. San Salvador creates energetic folk and has a growing fan base in France, they deliver a captivating debut with liberating and hypnotic music. "La grand folie" sounds sometimes furious, often courageous and always breathtaking.
Album La grande folie
Performer San Salvador
Label Music Development Company/ Pagans
Foto Kristof Guez
„Tri bej giuvin“ is still sung today between Genoa and Pavia. This song is rich in melismas, such melodic ornaments are typical also in traditional Turkish music. On "Serenin", the Ligurian folk duo Cabit builds a strong and beautiful crafted musical bridge between Liguria and Turkey. For this, an excellent ensemble of Ligurian and Turkish musicians was put together, mixing their traditional repertoire and creating a new powerful language. "Serenin From the Black Sea to the Ligurian Sea" recalls that Genoa colonised a large part of the Black Sea area in the 12th to 14th centuries. The strongly pulsating heart of "Serenin" is revealed in a love song from Çayeli, a town on the Black Sea. The dialogue here between popular oboes from Liguria and Turkey is so typical of this album. The tulum, a bagpipe with two equally large interconnected chanters without a drone, is heard again and again in the dances like Horon.The regions of Rize and Artvin in Turkey, on the border to Georgia, resemble somehow the landscape of Liguria, situated between the sea and the mountains. Cabit's album combines enchanting singing with music off the beaten track, played passionately and virtuos. I advice it not only for a sworn folk audience.
Album Serenin From the Black Sea to the Ligurian Sea
Foto Edmondo Romano
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