Thursday, September 12, 2013

Barbez's lovely, hard-to-describe Bella Ciao

Very cool, completely unclassifiable album from Barbez...reviewed yesterday at Blurt.

BARBEZ – Bella Ciao


Barbez is hard to classify, but let’s give it a shot. They are a large ensemble, ethnically curious, jazz-experimental, proggily complex outfit with a tendency to explore beautifully obscure corners not just of the music world, but also of literature. Their last album Force of Light set the poetry of Romanian holocaust survivor Paul Celan to restless, rhythmically complex music. This current one, Bella Ciao performs a similar kind of alchemy with Roman Jewish liturgical song, taking ancient, archetypical melodies and embellishing them with complex swathes of stringed instruments, clarinet, Theremin, malleted percussion, guitar, bass and drums.


They are streaming the whole album at PopMatters.

I'm also about halfway done transcribing my interview with Oneohtrix Point Never's Dan Lopatin, and it's a good one, stay tuned. And further, I am going to see Sam Amidon play live for the first time, despite the fact that I've been following his career since 2007's But This Chicken Proved False Hearted, and he grew up 25 miles from here, and his dad once wrote a musical for New England Youth Theater (my son's home turf). (I also got some good quotes from him for my sacred harp story, which was never published except on this blog, but which still draws hits pretty regularly.) Anyway, about time, wouldn't you say? I hope it stops thundering before 5 when I have to leave.

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