Oct 26, 2009

helena espvall & masaki batoh

helena espvall & masaki batoh - overloaded ark (drag city, 2009)

A sequel to last year's eponymous debut as a duo, this new Drag City LP from Espers cellist Helena Espvall and Ghost's Masaki Batoh delves even deeper into traditional and ancient musics, making use of an armoury of instruments that extends beyond 'mildly obscure' (renaissance harp, sho, hurdy gurdy, etc) and enters into the realm of 'are you sure you haven't just made that up?' (auschpfeife, crumhorn, cornamuse, rig and darbuka). On hand to assist in this piece of instrumental archeology is ancient music specialist Haruo Kondo as well as two of Batoh's Ghost bandmates (namely Junzo Tateiwa and Kazuo Ogino). Overloaded Ark reinterprets songs dug up from a variety of different cultures, from Scandinavian folk to French and Italian medieval court dances - with a spot of German madrigal thrown in as a crowd-pleaser. In addition to the album's appropriation of Cuban protest songs and Latin hymns, you do actually get to hear some original compositions by the duo themselves: beautiful, elongated pieces like 'Until Tomorrow' and 'Over The Luminescence Land' find the pair on terrific form, with the former in particular capturing the unearthly prog-folk magic (possibly with a 'k' at the end) these two can summon up. Recommended.

Esperaba con inquietud e incertidumbre una segunda colaboración y al final llegó... y que decir, Ghost es un favorito entre favoritos,
el primer disco parecía difícil de superar pero lo han conseguido. Helena se deja llevar y aterrizan en un universo más cercano al de Ghost pero en él sólo aflora una hipnótica y diversa tradición, hasta Helena se atreve en español rodeada de serpientes. Habría tanto que decir que lo voy a dejar aquí: mistery-magic-folk.


ana said...

gracias por esta maravilla de disco que había pasado desapercibido. mistery-magik-folk y psychedelic-cosmic-jam: overloaded ark & little blue dragon :)

adrián said...

:)) favorindo, masaki returns to lama rabi rabi