Pamplona Grup – Otto Ries
Oh, the joys of globalization and thorough musical education. Back in olden times, down in the Balkans, the only instruments Serbians were legally able to own were brass and drums. The reason for that was that the party-starting instruments could also double as military equipment, announcing citizens of incoming fighting. That’s at least the story I’ve been told, and whether accurate or not I feel I can tell it, haven’t spent so much time in the Balkans, among this style of folk music.
Now, Pamplona Grup are from Switzerland, a country that lately is importing not just football players, but, seemingly, music as well. There’s also a school of thought about Swiss-made art encapsulated by a certain famous quote by Orson Welles in The Third Man. It bears mentioning that the single “Otto Ries” is less interested in until-dawn post-wedding parties, but rather in the polyrhythms associated with Balkan dances, and the, overall, zaniness, of this style.
Truth be told, having been exposed to this kind of music for so long, I no longer hear it as odd. The ears belonging to the members of Pamplona Grup are still innocent to these stylings, one assumes. They take a post-rock approach to the writing of this piece. The song veers into a subtle jazz direction with an almost funeral march undertone to it. And, as expected, by the end of the song, we are thrust into full gipsy-jazz territory.
Yep, it’s a well-written piece. Wait until the Westerners learn about the stuff that usually accompanies the kind of music they are wholeheartedly embracing. Their wigs will flip!
Jose Lobo – Poder Decir Adios
There’s a beautiful and understated presence about Jose Lobo that makes me think of Os Mutantes. Just like the iconic trio, Lobo’s music, most likely, aims towards acceptance in the classical sense. However, it’s the quirks that make both of them highly enjoyable.
Poder Decir Adios with a small sound of an acoustic guitar playing Bossanova rhythms while assisted by tender vocals. This melancholic anthem to love lost then moves into Latin-jazz territory.
This is a nice song. The Venezuela-born songwriter effortlessly and earnestly creates a sound that many Western hipsters would waste countless hours in order to pass off as folk music in local coffee houses. Jose Lobo, however, is the real deal.