Kronos Quartet: Floodplain (Nonesuch/Warners)

 |   |  <1 min read

The Kronos Quartet: Oh Mother, The Handsome Man Tortures Me
Kronos Quartet: Floodplain (Nonesuch/Warners)

For more than 30 years the Kronos Quartet have been innovators, rarely looking back or playing pieces more than a few times, always on the lookout for contemporary material and daring projects.

They have recorded with John Zorn and Allen Ginsberg, played material by Jimi Hendrix, Terry Riley, the remarkable Inuit singer Tagaq, Harry Partch, Sigur Ros, Astor Piazzolla and Philip Glass, and drawn on music from India, Africa and South America.

Theirs is an extraordinary catalogue of work (they commission all the time and played Jack Body's music when they appeared in New Zealand many decades ago) and yet even now they are still managing to surprise.

For this outing they play music from the Middle East to India (a seven minute raga by Ram Narayan) and Ethiopia. There are guest vocalists Alim and Fargana Qasimov from Azerbaijan on the dramatic Getme Getme recorded live at the Barbican, and the closer is a 21 minute treatment of Hold Me Neighbour In This Storm by the Serbian composer Aleksanda Vrebalov.

This is thrilling music which springs to life right from the opener (Ya Habibi Ta'ala, a Middle Eastern tango which was a pop hit in the Forties) through Tashweesh written by the Palestinian collective Ramallah Underground and the thumping and staccato Oh Mother which uses a sample from an Iraqi song.

Exciting and exceptional, even by Kronos' high threshold. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Tinie Tempah: Youth (Warner)

Tinie Tempah: Youth (Warner)

To hear London-based, award-winning grime master Tinie Tempah tell it, after his stunning debut Disc-Overy and then the lesser follow-up Demonstration he struggled to reconnect with the source... > Read more

Josh Rouse: Best of the Ryko Years, 1995-2005 (Ryko/Elite)

Josh Rouse: Best of the Ryko Years, 1995-2005 (Ryko/Elite)

Some artists may always be the private passion of a few, and you sense this American singer-songwriter is hailed by some and utterly unfamiliar to most, many of whom would like him if they only... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . WOULD YOU BELIEVE: Care for Pet Sounds inna English accent, guv'nor?

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . WOULD YOU BELIEVE: Care for Pet Sounds inna English accent, guv'nor?

In the second part of his 2002 autobiography 2Stoned, Andrew Loog Oldham – manager and sometime producer of the young Stones, founder of Immediate Records and more – wrote about the... > Read more

A WALK OF ART IN SYDNEY: Art and about in Australia

A WALK OF ART IN SYDNEY: Art and about in Australia

We know Sydney is for shopping. But it's also a city where you can take a walk of art and come away excited, impressed, perhaps bewildered and always stimulated. So here are some suggestions for... > Read more