Posts Tagged ‘divanhana’

Divanhana – Zukva | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on March 11th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Divanhana-©none-Free1

Words by Garth Cartwright

Divanhana - Zukva Cover

Supple sevdah from young, gifted Sarajevans
★★★★

Divanhana were formed in 2009 by a group of students at Sarajevo Music Academy. Their contemporary instrumentation of brass, piano, bass and drums complements the traditional accordion and vocals in a way, they claim, is opening the Sephardic, Balkan and Turkish elements of sevdalinka to a new jazz sensibility. Up front is vocalist Leila Catic, backed up by six instrumentalists.

Divanhana are a young band but a very confident one: this, their second album (their debut not having had a UK release), proves they can play sevdah with the right mix of dynamic pace and epic melancholy. Leila Catic is a real find, her vocals possessing a gorgeous, honeyed tone; she displays excellent breath control as she caresses notes during ballads, then leads the band into fast dance numbers. However their toted “jazz sensibility” is largely wishful thinking (beyond a little brass). Divanhana are closer to Mostar Sevdah Reunion’s lead in using the band format to push sevdah towards a bigger sound, so capturing a wider audience. The six instrumentalists do this with real confidence. That said, the absence of any truly striking new arrangements means the album gets less interesting as it progresses. However, Divanhana are –alongside Sarajevo rockers Dubioza Kolektiv – a Bosnian band to watch out for in 2016.

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Top of the World April 2016: The best new releases

Posted on March 4th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the April (#116) issue.

Joan Soriano - Me decidí Cover

Joan Soriano
Me Decidí (iASO Records)
After a five-year wait since his previous solo release, Dominican singer and guitarist Joan Soriano is back with a new offering of joyous material. A fine return from the bachata maestro.

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Divanhana - Zukva Cover

Divanhana
Zukva (ARC Music)
The young Sarajevan band display an air of firm confidence, playing sevdah music with a flexible and dynamic approach on their first UK release.

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MazO'Connor-TheLongingKindCD

Maz O’Connor

The Longing Kind (Restless Head)
Maz O’Connor steps away from the folk songs that featured in her previous work, taking inspiration from life experiences, literature and art to create an intelligent and emotional album.

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Sahra Halgan Trio - Faransiskiyo Somaliland Cover

Sahra Halgan Trio
Faransiskiyo Somaliland (Buda Musique)
Somaliland’s Sahra Halgan is accompanied by a band of musical virtuosos on her new album, her first since returning to her homeland after a 23-year exile in France.

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4 panel Eco Wallet with no thumb (SLV 2.1.A) FINAL

Lotus Wight

Lotus Wight’s Ode to the Banjo (Lotus Wight)
Through musical interpretations of traditional Americana, Canadian artist Lotus Wight’s new album explores the history of the banjo via 13 tracks that make for a riveting listen.

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Aziza Brahim - Abbar el Hamada Cover

Aziza Brahim
Abbar el Hamada (Glitterbeat)
An important voice for the people of the Western Sahara, Aziza Brahim returns with a relaxed effort that continues to spur her message of political injustice and resistance.

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The Gloaming - 2 Cover

The Gloaming
2 (Real World Records)
With their critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut behind them, The Gloaming return with their second album – one that shows no signs of a sophomore slump.

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Varttina - Viena Cover

Värttinä
Viena (Westpark Music)
Finnish group Värttinä exceed expectations on their new album, executing strong vocal performances with relentless energy and stellar musicianship that results in an exciting release.

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Sainkho Namtchylak - Like a Bird or Spirit, Not a Face Cover

Sainkho Namtchylak
Like a Bird or Spirit, Not a Face (Ponderosa Music & Art)
Renowned throat singer Sainkho Namtchylak exhibits her versatile vocal ability alongside the rhythm section of Tinariwen in this cross-cultural hybrid of Touaregs and Tuvans.

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Anchorsong - Ceremonial Cover

Anchorsong
Ceremonial (Tru Thoughts)
Inspired by African pop music of the 1970s, Tokyo-born electronic musician Anchorsong utilises polyrhythms and expansive textures to create a sonically cohesive second album.

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