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Bani Ahead (CD)
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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