Here is something rather magnificent coming out of Macedonia in the form of Kristo Rodzevski’s latest album through Defkaz, a great Greek label. There is hope for the Balkans yet! From the Defkaz Bandcamp site:
“Black Earth has eleven traditional Macedonian songs infused with African aesthetics, including Gnawa undertones, Congo rumba, and African field recordings. The core of the traditional Macedonian harmonies and rhythms was developed over the centuries from the Ancient Greek and Roman Empire’s lyricism, Byzantium’s chants, and the Ottoman Empire’s classical music progressions, by way of multiple migrations, storytelling, wars, myths, tribalism, reconciliations, etc.) In a nutshell, Black Earth is a filtrate of the trans-generational transmission of resilience, trauma, love, and naivete.”
What is special about this disc is the quality of musicians appearing as guests here. Guitarist Dominic James, bassist Josh Werner, percussionist and sintir player Adam Rudolph, and the legendary Bill Laswell all supplement Kristo on this album. This is a proper supergroup.