onsdag 8 januari 2020

Light in Babylon - Baderech El Hayam

"An unlikely collaboration between Michal Elia Kamal, an Israeli singer of Iranian origin, French guitarist Julien Demarque and Metehan Ciftci who hails from Turkey and plays the santur (iranian dulcimer), Light in Babylon met in Istanbul a couple of years back and peddle a heady acoustic mix that slips around the Med, the Sephardic world and the Middle East on this, their first album proper. They're joined by percussionist Demir Asaad and Jack Butler on bass (plus, at various points, clarinet, violin, accordeon and hurdy gurdy), Ms Kamal sings from the heart, all swirling swing and declamatory passion. Ciftci's santur features prominently and provides an unusual base for the cross cultural jinks that surround it. Arrangements are imaginative but uncluttered and they are some fine songs (music by the core trio, lyrics by Kamal). A celebration of the cosmopolitan tradition of both Istanbul and the Sephardic Jewish community and another example of the great music that's coming out of the Eastern Mediterranean right now."

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