Album Review

Bats’i Son [coll] – [Locust Music]

ArtCrimes   4/10/2007   CD, International

Field recordings made in the Chiapas mountains of Mexico back in the seventies, made by Richard Alderson for Folkways???he has gone back to the masters and spiffed them up for CD. Although a collection, no individual artists are credited here. The tracklist shows the indigenous group name and the type of song (or event). This is mostly social music, some specifically for public events (religious festivals, carnivals, funerals). This is indigenous music of the region, but the influences include some European instrumentation (violin, guitar) and styles in addition to the local languages and customs. The recording quality is amazingly good, often with a clear stereo field so you can hear individual instruments. Some tracks (like #8, 9) feature fireworks as a percussive motif! Track #7 is an acapella duet of professional prayers, who seem to enjoy their work. Tracks #19-20 are segued.

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