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

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2015 (Cartell/Border)

Various Artists: So Frenchy So Chic 2015 (Cartell/Border)

In theory, with Spotify and the web, it should be incredibly easy to access music from all corners of the globe. But it's always helps to have someone shine the spotlight into the darkness if... > Read more

Fela Ransome-Kuti: Lagos Baby 1963-69 (Southbound)

Fela Ransome-Kuti: Lagos Baby 1963-69 (Southbound)

Strange though it may seem today, I had to argue hard to write a Herald obituary for the great Afrobeat master Fela Anikulapo-Kuti when he died of Aids-related illnesses in 1997. Despite Peter... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Aly Cook

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Aly Cook

Aly Cook should need no introduction given how many nominations she's had for best female country artist (five) or because of how she turns her skills as a publicist to her own advantage. She is... > Read more

Canterbury, England: Murder and more in the cathedral

Canterbury, England: Murder and more in the cathedral

So the murder was good for business then, Mike?“It was the biggest cash cow the cathedral had known,” laughs Mike Evans, one of the guides at Canterbury Cathedral, the spiritual home... > Read more