Exposé Online banner

Iva Bittová — Ne Nehledej
(Ariola 74321 24858 2, 1994, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1996-03-01

Ne Nehledej Cover artIva is a Czech violinist/vocalist who worked with drummer Pavel Fajt on two stupendous albums (Bittova & Fajt and Svatba) before going it alone. This is her third solo work. (Caution: on her first two, there is about a 50% overlap in material between them, as there is with the two duet albums). It is ludicrous to me why she isn't more famous, especially among the crowd who follow the chamber-rock contingent: Univers Zero and all the other music descended from Eastern European composers like Bartok. I've never heard anyone make use of odd meters so gracefully and effortlessly. Surely Iva's cultural background (she is one-half Moravian, one-half Slovakian) plays a part in bringing Balkan folkloric elements to her playing. But I'm no ethnomusicologist. The way she so tastefully blends these elements with extended vocal techniques and dark, sometimes macabre lyrical imagery is absolutely breathtaking to hear. The absence of a backing band is a virtue, allowing every vocal nuance, and all the rich timbres of her sonorous violin to sparkle brilliantly. Bass and guitar would certainly obscure most of this. Besides, Iva's persona is so intense, there isn't much sonic space leftover. Ne Nehledej finds her in a somewhat more becalmed mood: the violin's presence is downplayed, while ethnic instruments, piano, and Pavel's guest drumming have crept into the mix. Furthermore she is experimenting with some ethereal textures and repetitious forms. Though I prefer her earlier, more impassioned work, I realize she has to go somewhere from there. All of her music is essential listening.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Iva Bittová

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Urban Sax - Urban Sax à Jakarta – For those unfamiliar with Urban Sax, check out the reviews of their earlier albums in issue #5 for all the background information. This four-track mini-CD (eighteen minutes total) captures a live...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues