Karton Boulevard Imbérica
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Karton Boulevard Imbérica
Piedra 1
Galileo Nufolk (www.galileo-mc.com)

cd cover The universe that Karton Boulevard Imbérica populate is a parallel one where neither the Reconquìsta nor the expulsion of the Sephardic population ever really happened. I guess this is the necessary starting point to describe this music: They say the music is "created in the West by Western people which, however, does not adhere to Western principles."

Karton Boulevard not only populate this universe but also create a soundtrack it. I don't know why, but I have this vision of an animated film where Tin Tin meets the Japanese manga and it's all set in the year 1600 in an Arab-occupied Spain. Or could this be 100 years in the future when the Arab population of Southwestern Europe is finally larger than the native one? Both options are open. Maybe it has to do with the fact that they look just like a band of university friends who are playing together in their off-time. If that would have been the case, I bet they were almost all history students, with a graphic designer as well as an architect. Maybe it's because they have this cunning ability to create this parallel universe where everything is probable and yet impossible.

Klezmer, Arabic music, Balkan touches, some Gallic spirit just for the heck of it and a lot of Spanish blood in a flamenco undercurrent create a potent mix that sounds like a million things that you know were not meant to be together but just fall into place.

The instruments used by the three Corral brothers and their friends are an indication of what lies inside: transverse flute, accordion, violin, clarinet, Spanish guitar, darbuka, a sax. Special mention should go to the vocals of Marta Casado which are just right for this record. The only problem is that the booklet is only in Spanish, especially since it includes a lot of hints to what makes this record the animal it is.

Karton Boulevard present themselves with this really interesting, yet never precious record which is something quite unique. Although a bit too Arabic for aficionados of Spanish music, too Spanish for followers of Arabic music and impossible to pigeonhole for major record chains (File Under: Al Andalus?), it will not disappoint anyone interested in those musical soundscapes. - Nondas Kitsos

The band's web site: www.kartonboulevard.com

CD available at cdRoots

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