Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nikola Kodjabashia

One of this months covers -
design by Aleksandar Ares, layout
by K.K.W. Photo by Leni von Geleva
[NeuErotik]. Model: Milena Atanasova.
Music now: Nikola Kodjabashia. By K.K.W

Although somewhat unknown in NYC, Kodjabashia is arguably one of the best composers from the Balkans / Eastern European musical avant-guard. And while I'm not an expert on music, or its technical aspects, I know what I like, and how it makes me feel.

Album cover for Penelope X
Nikola Kodjabashia. Image courtesy of the artist.
The first of his work I heard was Kouros on the soundtrack Penelope X with Foltin, [from the musical "Odysseys and his women"] while on Juno-download purchasing music by Herzel & Genoveva [electronica music from Macedonia]. 

Seconds into the song and I was smitten. The flow, tempo, rhythms, arrangement and overall feeling of it was so mesmerizing.  The last 1:23 seconds is amazingly unforgettable. The rest of the album is equally stunning with its dark tones [The Pillars Of Hercules (Homecoming)], eerie sounds, sultry feel and sensuality [True Blue Eyes (Calypso)]. The combination of instruments, fusion of musical elements and musicians makes it utterly remarkable in its style.

When it comes to his own work, you can hear and feel a great dramatic movement from somber, slow-building sounds, to light an playful [suite intermezzo for piano]. 
Or, he draws you in with what appears to be a simple arrangement,  that suddenly develops into a sweeping explosion of notes, elevating the senses - only to leave you where he began [his music to Humberto Velez's The Last Builder].

According to Nenad Georgievski, Kodjabashia describes his first two albums as a "...literary canvas for an orchestra..." But in so-much as his music is based in Classical, he does incorporate and frequently combines electronic processing and other elements to achieve fantastic eerie moods, and at times dynamic contrasts [Explosion Of A Memory].     

Album cover to Explosion of a Memory
PENELOPE X is a joint project band evolved during the collaboration on the soundtrack. 4 members of PenelopE X are descending from undoubtedly one of the top and most influential bands from the Balkans in the past 15 years, FOLTIN. Their discography includes 5 critically acclaimed albums. Foltin╩╝s music is surreally retro, contemporary witty, melancholic but most of all passionate and unpredictable with a frantic dance undertone. They often describes themselves as pseudo emigrant cabaret rather than by musical style or genre etiquette. Their performance history lists all the leading European music festivals and theatre stages...

Kodjabashia is composer of 4 critically acclaimed albums: The Most of Now, 2008, Reveries of the Solitary Walker, 2004, Penelope X (with Foltin) described by Guardian, The Times, BBC Radio 3,, Giornale della Musica, All About Jazz critics as....” Probably the best record of the year”... “Magisch!”....”un ibrido perfetto”...”masterful”.. Kodjabashia morphs effortlessly from assured composer-conductor through laid- back facilitator to multi-tracking keyboard wizard”....”result, drawing on every musical language from modernism to Shadow like twang, is masterful.”

or: "Art is the reason, art is the way"

No comments: