Radicanto / Lettere Migranti
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Lettere Migranti
Compagnia Nuove Indye (www.cnimusic.it)

cd cover Radicanto continue their musical journey by looking away from the scorched earth that was the focal point of their previous record (Terra Arsa). This time around, they are looking away from the landscape, into the people that populate it. If the previous record was mostly about the earth, this one is about the people. This is a record full of human faces and the works of human hands. It is about the people who are moving into the region and those who have left, using the experiences of the latter to understand the former.

Puglia, the region where Radicanto come from, was one of the main points of departure of emigrants to the rich Italian North. It is a matter of utmost importance today to comprehend how the areas that used to be so poor are now a magnet for people even poorer. It is something that is changing the attitudes of the people, forcing them to face questions that up to now were only address hypothetically. "If I was in your place, I wouldn't have treated you like you are treating me" can finally be put into practice.

Radicanto use traditional texts that talk of emigration in the local language, to force the listener to give the answers to questions have only recently come to understand. It's a radical way of addressing the current social situation and their music has been radicalized a bit as a result. The jazz overtones that were only hinted at in the previous record come to the forefront on Lettere Migranti. There are some songs that are in a pure jazz idiom ("Tondo Viaggio"), while a few others are more traditional ("La Malatedda"). There are also majestic jazz-folk hybrids and these speak loudest of the quintessence of migration that is the hybridization of society, through the intermingling of different customs, mores and traditions. "Stella Pianeta" which is based on a Central Albanian musical theme is probably the one that is the most clearly presented. The instruments used (tambourine, flutes, bouzouki, guitars on the one hand and saxophones, cello, shakers and drums on the other) clarify this distinction further. The inclusion of a Paul Verlaine poem also points to a band that has moved onward.

The record comes to a close with three compositions from a soundtrack to the film "La Casa delle Donne'" (The Women's House) that are not quite related to the rest of the record. They are enjoyable nonetheless and probably hint at the next logical step for a group of musicians who have an uncanny ability to create virtual landscapes of great detail through their music.

Radicanto have managed to make a record that is different from the previous one, while still very much the result of the same band and which manages to address a current social problem using voices from the past. It is an engaging mix of the old and the new that is easy on the ears and generous on the soul while being inquisitive and demanding; it is another great achievement. - Nondas Kitsos

CD is available from cdRoots

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