Romania - Full Moon 190 - 03/08/12
Nu & Apa Neagră
Descântecul Apei Negre (Black Water Incantation)
The Lollipop Shop
We had a close encounter with Nu's third album and the first at the Lollipop Shop, called Omag,
a couple of years ago. It was in fact the first Rumanian album included in our menus here at Luna Kafé. Descântecul Apei Negre is only the second,
which surely is a shame. Anyway, Omag was a bit of a challenge to get into, at least for a simple pop lad like me. Even more so with the new album. At first it
sounded like a grey body of improvised electronic and analogue sounds and field recordings. This is certainly not party music from a gang of loud gypsies, so to speak.
After some spins the shades turn both lighter and darker, the latter into the black waters, of course. There are no bright colours involved here...
The band's greatest asset is the combination of traditional Rumanian acoustic instruments and electronics, sounding closer to modern day trance or ambient music than
folk. On Omag the acoustic instruments often carried the melodies. There are less overt melodies on Descântecul Apei Negre but seldom noise. The album
consists of sounds, creating murky and ominous moods. The album consists of six tracks, three relatively short ones about a rooster's singing (or the cockerel that crowed
three times?), although that is hard to discern. Here are two eight and a half minutes numbers about "A Pilgrim" and yet "Another Pilgrim". The latter even involves some
vocals by guest singer Maria Balabas. The hardest quest is the almost 17 minutes long title track that starts quite bright, then move into dark waters.
In the review of Omag I claimed it was not the album to listen to when you don't feel up to it. On the other hand, when you're filled with energy, the musical
world of Nu & Apa Neagră can be very rewarding to visit. This fits even better for Descântecul Apei Negre. For the faint-hearted I recommend to start with
Copyright © 2012 JP