Zakarya "The true story concerning Martin Behaim"

« Je n’aime pas particulièrement le terme de ‘musique expérimentale’, mais, toutefois il y a un peu de ça dans Zakarya. On y trouve aussi l’empreinte de John Cage, un peu de rock, ainsi que des rythmes et des mélodies issus de la culture authentiquement Klezmer. Ce que nous faisons à présent, on peut le définir comme de la musique juive expérimentale et avant-gardiste. »

Parfois, il arrive que quelqu’un m’aborde en me racontant quel genre d’images se sont dessinées dans sa tête pendant qu’il écoutait notre musique. La plupart du temps, cela ne correspond pas vraiment à mes propres associations, mais ce n’est pas mal non plus. Avec notre musique, nous ne voulons pas raconter des histoires précises. »

Café Babel

One can always count on the French quartet Zakarya to come up with something out of the ordinary on their recordings. If you have followed this exceptional and unclassifiable group of musicians since its Tzadik debut in 2001, you already know that expectations when it comes to Zakarya are futile. Placed in the label's Radical Jewish Culture series, The True Story Concerning Martin Behaim is an imaginary soundtrack -- music written for a film that doesn't exist. It takes as its subject the converso astronomer, navigator, and cosmographer who is reported to be the very first person -- before Magellan -- to view (philosophically) and draw a map of the world as a sphere. Musically, it's difficult to say what one has to do with another, but it doesn't matter a whit. This meld of Jewish folk music from antiquity to the present with shifting rhythmic pulses -- from Latin to rock, improvisational jazz, tautly composed new music strategies, and heavy metal guitars -- is dizzying, utterly sophisticated, and challenging, yet full of heart. The group's accordionist, Yves Weyh, who fronts a conventional rock trio -- guitarist Alexandre Wimmer, bassist Vincent Posty, and drummer Pascal Gully -- composed ten of these 12 cuts; Posty and Wimmer composed one each. A typical example of Zakarya's genius lies in "Nakete Shtetl," where an accordion and bass pulse set the rather restrained frame of harmonic focus. As such, Gully's drums and percussion flutter around that rhythmic intention improvisationally and sparely. The melody enters via Wimmer's electric guitar. He uses flurries of arpeggios along an Eastern motif lyric frame that is not unlike Yiddish market music. As the accordion moves toward lower registers while keeping the same rhythm, Gully plays on contrapuntal accents and Wimmer pushes his own lines to the breaking point and starts harmonically deconstructing them, while building a new dynamic architecture. Where it ends up is, in some ways, the very place it began, but light years away. Elsewhere, rock pyrotechnics are channeled toward unknown quantities of improvisation, as on "Lafko." For all its technical acumen and adventurous composition, this ultimately exhilarating ride still contains humor, warmth, and enough reckless outsider musical vision to take the Radical Jewish Culture firebrand on Tzadik to a new level.
All Music

1 commentaire:

EdkOb a dit…

Klezmer ne rime plus avec clarinette, tant mieux.

Zakarya, the french touch chez Zorn !