Still, despite this almost wanton musical kleptomania, there is something concrete and individual created on this LP.
Alejandro Franov – Khali
If you want to listen to something utterly otherworldly, you'd do worse than give this CD a spin. I use the word otherworldly advisedly as Alejandro Franov has his musical feet planted very firmly in the World Music camp; this can be seen in his preferred, eclectic choice of instruments. We have, in the main, a Paraguayan harp, a Mbira, and the Sitar as the bedrock, augmented by guitars and keyboards.
Rather, it is the nature of the music that is otherworldly: it's ethereal, floating stuff, not unduly concerned by time and place. The beautiful Shona piece Shumba (using an arpa, which sounds, to these ears, like a Senegalese korah) is a case in point; rhythms and phrases are constantly revisited, giving a sense of weightlessness and quiet. Maybe that's Franov's vibe, to create a truly meditational work. If so he succeeds brilliantly, Pasando el Mar is another excellent example, the passing Eno-isms of the keyboards scarcely register as propulsive forces.
There are nods to the Indonesian flute in Sumatra and the rainstick in Nyamaropa. You can't accuse the lad of ignoring instruments, that's for sure. Still, despite this almost wanton musical kleptomania, there is something concrete and individual created on this LP. This is best seen on the beautiful Luxor and the traditional Karigamombe, where the noises of the river bring a real sense of beauty to the proceedings.
Good stuff, but don't put it on if you're feeling restless.
Words: Richard Foster.