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self produced (www.dazkarieh.com)

cd cover Dazkarieh is a recent surprise in Portuguese traditional and folk music, although those that are more in touch with folk music in Portugal have already been hearing the band's wonderful live performances at the traditional music and dance festivals. After spending some time doing only live concerts, they have finally recorded their first studio album.

'Dazkarieh' is not a Portuguese word, nor is it from any other known language. According to the band, it's a "magical word of unknown origin. It might have something to do with the energies that are released when several worlds, essences and influences touch each other." That is probably also the best definition one can come up with for the music of this group. In their repertoire, Dazkarieh travel through the musical universe of the Mediterranean, of the North of Portugal and Galicia, of the Middle-East, and of Africa. There they gather the sounds that they weave into tunes that can be calm and introspective (making us think of bands like Dead Can Dance), but can also change suddenly into real explosions of energy and rhythm, where the spiritual and emotional component is always present.

Although these changes between intimacy and emotion are noticeable throughout the record, it is in the second, third and fourth tunes of the album, the fabulous triptych "Kriamideah," that they are revealed in all their beauty and excellence. First we are invited, even hypnotized, by the intimate and contemplative environment created by the guitar, the cello, some soft percussion, and by the brilliant voice of Marie Beatriz Lucio. But as we get involved in the sounds there is the feeling that there's still something more to discover in the tune, and finally we are completely overwhelmed by the rhythm of the African drums, the bouzouki, the chanters and the magnificent voice, which by now has become almost tribal.

Dazkarieh take their music very seriously. All the tunes work very well, particularly in the way that the members of the band were able to bring together instruments of very different origins. The quality of the arrangements shows the band's commitment and love for music. The only problem with the record is its short length. Dazkarieh are known to have some more great tunes that they normally use in their live performances, but they chose to leave them out of a studio recording for now, citing the problems that they had when recording the album.

Like all bands upon release of their first album, Dazkarieh had to deal with several logistical difficulties and problems that could only be overcome with the help of friends, so we we are in the presence of work that was only made possible because of friendship and of love for music. And like all labors of love, sooner or later its results will appear. - Joao Maia

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