El Naan: Codigo de Barros (ARC)

 |   |  <1 min read

El Naan: La Atalaya/The Watchtower
El Naan: Codigo de Barros (ARC)

While the elements of melody and rhythm might be ancient, and the lyrics (outlined in English in the booklet) contain timeless stories of a world being rapidly left behind, this is no journey into the past.

It may have old bones but the heart is strong and contemporary.

With tough and passioned voices, traditional instruments in the same space as electric guitar and tenor sax, these songs sound like a long and occasionally reflective night at the bottom of a bottle in some countryside cantina on the Iberian Peninsula.

And in the company of intelligent and deeply schooled locals who are intuitive musicologists.

The album's title involves sly wordplay (change one letter and the Spanish for “barcode” becomes “mudcode”, as seen on the cover), so this is an engaging collection of original songs framed within the traditions of Spain at the intersection of Jewish, Celtic and Arabian music.

Vigorous 21st century folk with a weatherbeaten spirit, intestinal fortitude and a sensually spiritual dimension, witnessed by the lengthy musical setting of the poetic quatrains of Omar Khayyam on the closing track.

Very much worth checking out.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Cristina Branco: Live in Amsterdam (Arc)

Cristina Branco: Live in Amsterdam (Arc)

Cristina Branco was one of an emerging generation of Portuguese fado singers when, in 1997, she performed in Amsterdam where this, her debut album, was recorded. Her assured, crystalline... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE:  John Psathas

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: John Psathas

New Zealand classical composer and musical everyman John Psathas should be well known, his work roams from the strictly classical worlds and across to electronic influenced sounds. He has... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Orchestra of Spheres: Nonagonic Now (Sound Explorers)

Orchestra of Spheres: Nonagonic Now (Sound Explorers)

This rhythm-driven four-piece from Wellington is one part early Talking Heads (or the Feelies as a jazz ensemble), a slug of Sun Ra if he'd come from South East Asia and not Saturn, some seriously... > Read more

Tom Petty: Chair man of the bored

Tom Petty: Chair man of the bored

They say you should never meet your heroes and so it has been for me and Tom Petty. In more recent years I did a numbingly boring phone interview with a man I took to be a numbskull and prior to... > Read more