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

Samuel Yirga; Guzo (Real World/Southbound)

Samuel Yirga; Guzo (Real World/Southbound)

With the Ethiopiques reissue series, the rediscovery of Mulatu Astatke, groups like Dub Colossus and Syriana, and singer Mahmoud Ahmed, the music of Ethipia has certainly garnered attention in... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE:  Tami Neilson

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Tami Neilson

What can we say about the wonderful Tami Neilson – a longtime Elsewhere favourite – that we haven't said before? She turns in exceptional albums (her most recent Don't Be Afraid... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Jean Michel Jarre: Oxygene (1977)

Jean Michel Jarre: Oxygene (1977)

Sometimes in history there comes that rare conjunction of the artist, the time and the art. In the case of Jean Michel Jarre it seemed they were all out of alignment. He could not have... > Read more

GUEST WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY speaks with documentarian photographer Gil Hanly

GUEST WRITER AND PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN GANLEY speaks with documentarian photographer Gil Hanly

Photographer Gil Hanly neatly sums up the motivation behind her work. “I’m a documenter, not an art photographer. I photograph the things I’m involved in”. Gil has... > Read more