Review | Songlines

NOU?

Rating: ★★★★

View album and artist details

Album and Artist Details

Artist/band:

Mascarimiri

Label:

ARRA Produzioni Mediterranee

November/2020

How does a region’s traditional music survive its own commercial success? Apparently overwhelmed by the touristic boom of pizzica, Apulian music finds new ways of expression inspired by electronic music and dub: arguably a better solution than trying to preserve it as a postcard from the past. In Claudio ‘Cavallo’ Giagnotti’s band Mascarimiri, Roma, Greek (‘Griko’) and Italian music meet in a powerful mix that grabs the listener from the very first track where the voice of Cavallo’s grandmother generates an urban electronic panorama. Abrasive and yet always intensely musical, the album plays with different tarantella and pizzica rhythms, mixing them with Balkan traditions as well with the Caribbean dances of holiday-makers, but it also includes polyphonic and political songs; it all speaks to the deep roots of a culture in flow.

Cavallo sings, plays flutes and percussion, and manipulates sounds electronically, ably supported by Gabriele Martino (voice and mandolin), Matteo Resta (Algerian mandole and electric bass) and second singer Alessandro ‘Scarpina’ Schito. In ‘Hotel Albania’ and ‘Tangos de lo Zingaro’ a heartfelt tribute is paid to the seminal Apulian band of the 90s, Opa Cupa who were led by trumpet player Cesare dell’Anna. Spectacular.

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