Quikion — Ramadan
(Poseidon PRF-018, 2004, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01Latest evidence of what a strange and wonderful world we live in: a Japanese group called Quikion based on accordion, concertina, bouzouki, psaltery, toy instruments – oh, and a bit of acoustic guitar. More than half the tracks are original, with the others based on traditional music from Pakistan, Romania, Serbia, and England, as well as Kurt Weill’s “Ballade von der Höllen-Lili.” The female vocals seem to be mostly in Japanese, regardless of the melodic sources. The mood ranges from bouncy and energetic to quiet and reflective, and the humor, in spite of the occasional use of a squeaky toy as a percussion instrument, is not overwhelmingly silly. Most of the arrangements center around accordion or concertina and acoustic guitar or bouzouki; the other instruments carry or share the melodies. I can picture this music being played in a café on a thriving international space station, where cultures mix and blend indiscriminately and the listeners don’t especially care what languages the singers use. It’s refreshing to see how inventive musicians can be even given only a palette of acoustic instruments. And they produce what’s become one of my favorite versions of the English folksong “The Cuckoo,” though singing it in Japanese certainly changes its flavor. While its origin may be outside the “world music” establishment, this band should appeal to fans of Balkan and Middle Eastern music as well as European folk.
Related artist(s): Quikion
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more