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

Monoswezi: The Village (Riverboat/Southbound)

Monoswezi: The Village (Riverboat/Southbound)

Further evidence as to why, especially in the area of world music, you should never judge an album by its cover. As Elsewhere has said previously, exceptional and exciting bellydance albums usually... > Read more

YUNGCHEN LHAMO INTERVIEWED (1999): The singer as national emblem

YUNGCHEN LHAMO INTERVIEWED (1999): The singer as national emblem

When this interview appeared in 1999 I was subject to some interesting passive-aggressive communications from people purporting to be sympathisers with the Free Tibet cause who suggested that what... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Echo and the Bunnymen: Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Echo and the Bunnymen: Original Album Series (Rhino)

Call it what you will -- nostalgia, history, the collector mentality -- but filling gaps in your archives or just rediscovering an artist or album just got a whole lot cheaper with the Original... > Read more

MELBOURNE'S GRAFFITI ART (2015): Take a walk on the multicolour side

MELBOURNE'S GRAFFITI ART (2015): Take a walk on the multicolour side

When Chris Hancock talks about his friends, mentors and inspirations, it sounds like some weird code. In short order he ticks off Dem189, Nost, Ha-Ha, Adnate, ELK, Rone and Steen Jones . . . who... > Read more