Thursday, November 28, 2013

La Cherga: Revolve (2011)

Balkan music and especially the fusion styles have become very popular in recent years with all kind of blends and styles. La Cherga’s “Revole” is a true jewel of this genre with its grooving mixture of Eastern European jazz tradition, Jamaican dub rhythms, a crisp horn section and powerful vocals. Based on Eastern traditions, the group is not limited to this but also integrates sounds that come from very different musical genres.

All band members are from former Yugoslavia a seven-piece with their base in Graz, Austria where they had ended up there after the outbreak of war. “Revolve”, La Cherga’s second album is presented by a new singer Adisa Zvekic and she is well known for her extraordinary voice having been a part of the crossover band “Dubioza Kolektiv”. The line up is completed by guitarist and bassist Nino Muamer Gazibegovic Skiljic from Bosnia- Herzegovina, the electronic mixer Nevenko Bucan and the drummer from Croatia, the two wind Kiril Kuzmanov and Trajce Velkov from Macedonia.

My favorites are the extremely groovy songs "Sufi Dub" and "Rise Up". If you like La Cherga please also have a look at the band's label webpage at asphalt tango. They have all kinds of other great (balkan) music assortments over there.
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Youn Sun Nah: Live at the Women of the World Festival 2013


In April this year I had the pleasure to attend a concert of Youn Sun Nah in Frankfurt, Germany. It was such an outstanding performance. I was especially happy because the concert has been recorded as well as it was held in a radio studio. The radio recording was streamed on a German radio station and I was lucky to record.

Youn Sun Nah is originally from South Korea and she chose Paris as a second home from where she started her Jazz career. She has been categorized as singer songwriter Jazz and in France her previous album "Same Girl", was the best-selling jazz album of 2011 where she received a couple of high ranking awards in Europe. Recently, she released her new record "Lento" which she took on a tour throughout the summer.

The concert was part of the festival "Women Of The World" and it took place at the radio studio of the "Hessischer Rundfunk" accompanied only by Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius. Given the fact that the studio was quite small the two musicians produced a very intimate atmosphere. Wakenius was an excellent match and he contributed also compositions to the new album.

The concert featured new songs from the album "Lento". One of the most striking songs was the interpretation of the new cover song "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails and the excellent duet "Memento Magico". What I enjoyed the most of the concert was Nah's ability to control an expression of her voice and to perfectly articulate and reproduce the mood of her original recordings. That made it such an unforgeable experience. So if you have the chance to see her on a concert go and enjoy!

Preview 1 2 | You Sun Nah Live | Official

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Indica: Valoissa (2008)

Here comes an "oldie" of mine: Indica is an all woman band from Finland, which has been around since 2001. The music is best described as something between pop and alternative rock with a melancolic metal like sort of appeal. Valoissa (Finnish for "In The Lights") is the band's fourth album and it was produced by Nightwish's Tuomas Holopainen (which is easily identifiable). The artist's classical music experience is also easily audible influences within the beautiful arrangements.

What I especially like is that the songs are sung in Finnish (of which I understand only some words) and which makes this release special. Finnish lyrics have a great melody and rhythm. The band decided to re-record in 2010 older material with lyrics in English and thought this fosters international success it makes the music less special. It's hard to pin down favourites but 10 H Myöhässä (10 H Late) and Sanoja (Some words) are certainly outstanding. According to the facebook page the new album is already mixed now and waiting for the mastering. Let's hope that it is going to be with Finnish vocals again... 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

hAND: Breathing (2011)

Progressive Metal music has been around fore quite some time now. Quite often I find this genre of music too technical - missing feeling. hAND is on the contrary: it has been certainly one of my best discoveries in the metal genre for quite some time. According to their bio hAND are a 4 piece progressive, alternative metal band from Sussex, England and it has been founded by Kat Ward and Kieren Johnstone in 2004.

They produce a musical fusion that is simply breathtaking: The music consists of very elaborate sound structures with female vocals adding a Gothic element. Where other bands are getting sidetracked in their technicality of their sound compositions, hAND finds the perfect balance between progressiveness and melody. The music constantly wanders between calmer passages and more technical passages which maintain a certain level of tension in the music.

The albums musical quality is so high that it is difficult to name individual tracks that stand out but if I had to pick one "The pier" is certainly excellent. The band is currently in the preparations of their new album. While waiting for the new album I am sure the band could use all your support at bandcamp. Preview after the break.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Etwas Unders: Etwas Unders (2007)

Ukraine again... I got quite stuck in music from the Ukraine and Russia recently. This time it is extremely energetic alternative music with female vocals from Kiev. The band name derives from German "Etwas anders" meaning something different. Thought having an English name lyrics are entirely in Ukrainian language. 

"Etwas Unders" was the first and only self-titled album, which was recorded in 2007. The album included most of the songs performed by the group in concerts between 2004 and 2007. The band is no longer active but from guessing from youtube their live performance must have been really awesome and full of energy. Convince yourself with the soundcloud set below!

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

My charts for 2012

2012 is already long gone history - so it is once again time for a wrap up of the year. Musically, this year was extremely interesting and I could easily have picked more favourites each month.
This year I added 171 albums, which is slightly more compared to last year (160 in 2011).  Evaluating what I added I can identify two trends: World music was quite strong last year with surprisingly high number of excellent releases from the Ukraine / Russia (5 times). This time, the oldest top addition is just from 2007.

So here are the winners:

January Dazkarieh - Ruído do Silêncio (2011) World Music, Alternative , Portugal
February Sonceklyosh (Сонцекльош) - Герої (Geroi) (2011) World Music, Ukraine
March Jacek Kleyff - Znaki (2009) World Music, Poland
April r.roo - There Is No Yesterday And No Tomorrow (2012)Electronic, Ukraine
May Romengo - Kétháné (2011) World Music, Hungary
June A Moving Sound - A Moving Sound (2011) World Music, Taiwan
July МЕЛЬНИЦА (Melnitsa) - The Best (2012) Alternative, Russia
August Tha Blue Herb - Total (2012) Hip-Hop, Japan
September Etwas Unders - Etwas Unders (2007) Alternative, Ukraine
October Ghosthill - Flying Through Imagination (2012) Metal, Russia
November Youn Sun Nah - Same Girl (2010) Jazz, South Korea
December La Cherga - Revolve (2011) Raggea / Dub, World Music, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia

What can I say once more a year of amazing discoveries - just hit the play button on the youtube play list below and enjoy!