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Serious music


Mango Molas
Peňa
Published by: A G Records
Available at: most music stores
RHYTHM is the fuel that drives this music machine. Latin, Cuban, and Afro percussion whirl together until you are not sure where the music is coming from, or if you really care.

Fylyp Skandal
Zlý vtip
Published by: Millenium Records
Available at: most music stores
This album's title translates as "bad joke", but I do not think it is. I do not think this is a joke at all.



Mango Molas
Peňa
Published by: A G Records
Available at: most music stores

RHYTHM is the fuel that drives this music machine. Latin, Cuban, and Afro percussion whirl together until you are not sure where the music is coming from, or if you really care. At its worst, the music heads toward cliché and exoticism or, little better, to prosaic beats and keys as numb as a daily diet of over-the-counter painkillers. I would rather not discuss the misuse of the saxophone and flute in these instances.

Happily, the majority of the album breaks free of this trap. Like a strange equatorial storm, the band travels between the hot spots south of the United States and Europe, mixing what it finds with as much skill as good humour and rhythmic abandon. In other words, it is hard to put this album on and not be in a good mood by the time it ends.

Before it does, the band shows it can make some unusual additions to its southern percussion, and to good effect. Ranná káva (Morning Coffee), for example, features the fujara, the Carpathian region's answer to the didgeridoo. On Bubony, one hears the low-fi sound of an old electric guitar and someone yelping into a bad microphone. Whatever these guys are doing, I am sure they are having fun.


photo:

Fylyp Skandal
Zlý vtip
Published by: Millenium Records
Available at: most music stores

This album's title translates as "bad joke", but I do not think it is. I do not think this is a joke at all. The images found in the linear notes show a band taking itself seriously as it plays on a studio stage hung with the communist flag and a poster of Jim Morrison. I do not doubt that it takes a certain kind of concentration to play the boom-boom-crash drums and plodding bass and guitar lines of contemporary rock. After all, I could not do it if I tried, and it would be a bad joke if I did - though not one any more worth listening to.

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