Monday, December 19, 2011

Circo Vulkano: La Vida Es... (2011)

This is true madness: Circo Vulkano is a crazy combo from Venezuela. I discovered La vida es.. recently at the great blog and it got me immediately infected. The band itself defines its music as Gipsy Cumbia Balkan Punk and when I listened to the record for the first time I thought that this is the how I wanted to have Manu Chao's music sounded all the years (though lyrics are in Spanish, only). It is so full of energy that it makes dance on the spot! One of the great strengths of Circo Volkano is the ability to slow down songs and then to catch up again. 

The first song "Mambo (Italiana)" gets the party already started. From there on till the instrumentals there is no breather to come. My favorite is "La Cachumba" a funny song with great none sense lyrics about a skull. A special thing about Circo Volkano is the usage of the melodica. I don't know how common this is in Latin American music and it definitely adds a very distinctive lo-fi note to the music.
Covers never have been that much fun as on La vida es...: in the middle of the song "Aire Jiri / A Caballo" the theme from pulp fiction pops up and sounds so right here. The king of covers though is the song nirvana: This is an amazing adaption of Nirvana's Love Buzz.
When I saw the live videos on youtube I wished I could have get into an airplane and fly over to Venezuela and join the party! I hope to see this amazing blend of music in Europe one day :)

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Vespera: Desert Of The Real (2011)

Having lived for quite some time in Romania the country surprised me many times with its artistic potential. Especially Cluj, the capital of Transylvania where I lived featured an excess of creative talent. Almost every weekend one had the possibility to attend great concerts of local and national acts.

By chance, on a recent trip to Cluj I attended a concert of a local band Vespera at the Irish Music Pub which is a great venue for concerts in the city. The concert itself was mediocre mainly because of sound quality problems the band had (the male singer was hardly audible) and they did not impress me too much. A few days later I listened to the CD that was given away at the concert and to the contrary it took me much by surprise.


With a rock music style similar to Lacuna Coil they succeeded in creating some really catchy tracks. The vocal lines bounce nicely between the two singers Dorin Panduru and Teodora Bârla. In addition the got some really great keyboards and samples. For a band without a label and management in the back the quality of the songs and production is really great and it still leaves space for further improvements. My favorite songs from the record are "Mary of Bethany", "Behind my smile" and the brilliant "Through the neon lights".

Luckily, with the advent of the Internet possibilities of distribution and promotion hugely increased, even though Romanian bands usually lack resources in order to get (big) label deals and record sales. As Vespera's bio states their next step is to promote their music worldwide, wanting to excite listeners from various genres of metal music. And, indeed they did impressed me!

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