World Music - Turlu Tursu - Accordion 'n drum 'n bass
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cd cover Turlu Tursu
Accordion 'n drum 'n bass
Home Records (

This CD is exactly what the title says it is, but is it ever more. This trio out of Belgium tackles music from Turkey, India, Ireland, Eastern Europe and points beyond and between and wrestles it all to the ground. They'll take a klezmer tune, a planxty, or a raga and shake it upside down and turn it inside out until it begs for mercy. While in other hands such eclecticism could be seen as dilettantism, Turlu Tursu gets around this trap by acknowledging the source of the tune with a quick nod, then rendering it unrecognizable as anything other than their own statement, purists be damned. It takes musicians of uncommon skill to be this ballsy. Fabian Beghin's accordion is brash and aggressive, Nicolas Dechéne's bass is thick and swaggering, and Etienne Plumer's drums are like fireworks. Aurélie Charneux contributes some rhapsodic clarinet on three tracks and Sibel Dinçer's vocals on two tracks have the perfect combination of purity and sultriness.

Their jazz fusion take on the two ragas here is particularly inspired. "RagaAsavari" lets the three stretch out with some extended improvisations. On "Raga Hansadhwani," Beghin switches to bansuri and does some lovely give and take with Dechéne. They take a pair of waltzes from Auvergne ("La Galinette/Pierre la Chabrette") and turn them into a frenetic chase-scene soundtrack. But the most audacious blender job is "Oriental Klezmer Dub," which is, well, a klezmer tune done dub-style with an Eastern overlay, what else? Lunacy as brilliant as this comes around rarely. Grab it while it's hot. - Peggy Latkovich

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