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Featured CD Review from RootsWorld

cd cover L'Ham de Foc
Cor de Porc
Galileo (

This is the third record from L'Ham de Foc and on this one they have taken the next logical step and actually lived in the Northern Greek city of Thessaloniki for six months before recording it. The forty hours of material that led to the twelve songs on The Pig's Heart were recorded between EfrÚn Lopez and Mara Aranda's home regions of Valencia and Greece.

What led them to temporarily move to Greece was the need to more carefully explore the Oriental rhythms, still active in the city due to its proximity to their source, and the particular social characteristics of the city. They even utilized some Greek musicians to achieve this, on instruments such as ney, kaval, kemenše, rebec and Black Sea lyra. Their Iberian spirit is very much alive, particularly in their use of a style of playing from Valencia called the Cant d'Estil, where a poet whispers the lyrics into the singer's ear who then improvises over a fixed melodic line in a mode not too dissimilar from flamenco. They named the record after the eternal human quest to delve deep and unearth the secrets of our existence, just like a pig searching for food. The results are fascinating. L'Ham de Foc have already proved that they can assimilate their influences from across the Mediterranean Sea, but this time they have moved further East, creating what I feel is the first entechno record by someone who is not Greek (a real accolade for a style of interpretation that is based to a great degree on the specific social parameters of Greece) while at the same time staying true to their own homeland.

The daring process that led to this record has produced a work that, while highly idiosyncratic, is rooted in the musical comings and goings of the Mediterranean and the Near East, the vast cultural space extending from Iran and Afghanistan (here lending instruments and modes of playing) to Valencian Spain. Like their previous efforts, there are moments when things might seem to get too serious or involved, but the sparks that fly as a result of this tension lend it a sense of timelessness. - Nondas Kitsos

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