Czech Republic - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 4 - 02/22/97
Initially, Tancirna (Dancehall) held a promise of eleven danceable World Beat
grooves assembled by a large group of musicians (half percussionists and
half horn players). The instrumentation included a guiro, surdo, talking
drums etc., as well as a bassoon, soprano sax, a clarinet and so on. The styles
reached every corner of the globe and the arrangements spanned decades, from
the Big Band era to present. We got to travel from South America (Light
Explosion) to Mozambique (Lo-Lo Dzama), from the 40's (Swinging) to
the 50's (Singing), from group-chanting to falsetto singing.
But the promise of this recording went mostly unfulfilled. Grooves stayed
grooves and never developed. The mood seemed to be more important than any
potential emotional impact. The lyrics were largely nonsense syllables and
almost every song sounded like a soundtrack to a movie that you thought you've
seen before. It's as if every Beatles song had the lyrics similar to (Here
Comes) The Sun King from Abbey Road and the emotional emptiness of
You Know My Name, Look Up My Number.
The problem however may not be with Sum Svistu. Maybe - just maybe -
the problem lies with us. With our shallow multinational multiculturalism,
with our short attention span and our smug David Letterman in-jokes. After
all, this band only reflects what we feel. And wouldn't the German BMG Records
release only what they hoped we'd buy?
Czech it out anyway.
Copyright © 1997 Ivan Sever