Various Artists — Periferic 2000 Folk-World-Ethno from Hungary
(Periferic BGCD 052, 2000, CD)
by Mike Ezzo, Published 2002-09-01Concurrent with Periferic’s second space/prog rock compilation comes another collection of Hungarian folk/ethnic music. Whereas last time they featured many groups with a slightly modern bent, whose work clearly displayed a cognizance of popular music, this time around it is almost 100% back to the basics. Fourteen different groups/solo artists are included, the most well known being Marta Sebestyen, doing (ironically) an a capella “Greensleaves.” Ultamarin are the only other band to let non-Hungarian influences in; their upbeat modernized rock tune complete with guitars and drums is the odd man out on this disc. Much of the emotional density of what these groups bring alive bears an indescribable melancholy that I’ve never heard from any other European music. Basta Citerazenekar is an example, whose ancient sound haunts the listener, drowned in strings and male voice. Many of the bands opt for a brisk oom-pah oom-pah rhythmic backing while soloists go at it on violin or hammer dulcimer, invoking what is not too far removed from American bluegrass, or festive Irish reels. Bokros Ensemble, Dongo, Ivanovics Tunde, and Kerekes Egyuttes are indicative. Lastly there is a tendency on other tracks towards what seems like Italian street café music, with its operatic vocals and rollicking playfulness. They all use acoustic instruments, and heavily favor accordion, violin, and hurdy gurdy. It isn’t difficult to realize the intention here is for merry-making. Stylistically this CD is much more likely to appeal to your parents’ generation than to Exposé readers. Thus I would recommend the previous Periferic ethno/world music collection instead.
Related artist(s): Márta Sebestyén
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more