January 4, 2016

Divanhana | Zukva

ARTIST: Divanhana
TITLE: Zukva
Divanhana is a young band from Sarajevo that specializes in the urban folk music of ex-Yugoslavia. Much of their material is sevdalinka, “Bosnian blues,” characterized by minor-key melodies and an intense sense of longing; you could file it next to fado, morna and rembetika in a world music library. Traditional sevdah is generally played at a slow (if not glacial) tempo, but Divanhana’s strength is on the songs paced more like gypsy music, with arrangements heavy on accordion, fiddle and clarinet, and soloing that comes right out of jazz. They do a superb job on 3 and 9, famous tunes from the Roma repertoire, rocking them hard and filling the solo space with clever twists. And they take mid-century sevdahs like 1 and 2 at a brisk clip, highlighting their connection to the Roma tradition. The musicianship is excellent throughout, with clear-voiced singer Leila Catic especially a standout, and the arrangements are unusually imaginative. This is a top-shelf example of contemporary Balkan folk music.
TOP TRACKS:    1    2    3    9

No comments: