Slivovitz - Bani Ahead

Second album by this Italian ensemble who operate somewhere between jazz/rock and the creative, crazed individualism of Frank Zappa. A lesser known group who are deserving of more attention.

"Anyone who has sampled their namesake plum brandy knows that it packs an impressive kick, and on their new MoonJune release Bani Ahead, Italian septet Slivovitz deliver an equally intoxicating musical concoction that’s even more savory than their widely hailed debut Hubris. On Bani Ahead, Slivovitz’s delectable instrumental casserole of violin, woodwinds, harmonica, electric guitar, and rhythm section exhibits such finely calibrated ensemble playing that the players sound like a single organism, whether executing dizzying unison passages, engaging in ingeniously dovetailed melodic counterpoint, or supporting as impassioned solo. There’s a lot of richness of detail on Bani Ahead with a wholly refreshing lack of attitude or affect – there is no grandstanding here, just seven gifted, highly attuned instrumentalists playing their hearts out across a selection of exhilarating genre-agnostic original com- positions that draw equal inspiration from art-rock, jazz, European classical music, and ethnic influences. Slivovitz’s music has been likened to that of the great maestro Frank Zappa and at times recalls the rarefied chamber-rock of RIO artists such as Henry Cow, but is possessed of a sunnier Mediterranean temperament befitting the group’s origins. Much has been made of the Italian gift for melody, and Bani Ahead serves as a stunning example as the musicians seemingly effortlessly unspool one memorable, emotionally resonant melody after another as though melody were the very air they breathe. A number of pieces grapple with the formidable melodic and rhythmic intricacies of Balkan folk musics, but however challenging the material, Slivovitz always navigates the music’s twists and turns in a relaxed and buoyant manner brimming with humor and brio. From the opener “Egiziaca” with its odd-metered Balkan-flavored melodic figures juxtaposed against gritty overdriven guitar, to the serpentine ostinati and pointillist ensemble passages of “Cleopatra Through,” to the brooding, enigmatic “Opus Focus,” Bani Ahead represents a new high-water mark for a band that is quickly cementing a reputation as one of Europe’s upcoming purveyors of progressive instrumental music of any kind."


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  • LabelMoonJune
Your Price $13.00

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