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La Vita, La Terra, La Musica
Musicisti Associati Produzioni (

This record, the debut one by Etnie, is also a wonderful way for anyone interested in debuting in the music of Southern Italy, Campania in this case. Comprising both original compositions and traditional songs, this is music of great power as well as potential.

There are four main elements to Etnie: Francesco Faraldo's percussive instruments documenting the breathing of the earth and Andrea Russo's accordion expressing the sentiments of the human beating heart. Vincenzo Faraldo's bass and cellos augmenting the ambience of a sunny Italian afternoon and Francesco Natale on mandolins of various shapes and timbres giving expression to melody, the voice of the human body. And all around them, various other sounds, flute, bodhran, shaker, darbouka, voice, harmonica, saxophone and violin. Still, those are just added touches here and there. The main effect of the record is of a pulsating human body dancing barefoot on top of the earth, not so much against it, but together - as one.

Human and Earth, therefore, but also past and present, traditional and contemporary; those are all arguments that poets and musicians have been trying to express since time immemorial but it seems that they are finding some of their best expressions in the music of those fabulous four. It is quite characteristic of the band that some of the best songs on the record are their own compositions ("Terre/Attaranta," "Gira la Canzone," "E Tutto Ricomincị"). Listening to it, you are never quite sure if what you are listening to is a new song, a traditional one or a medley - such is the power of assimilation and their immersion in the traditional culture and music of the region.

This is music as sunny and welcoming as any you would expect from Italy, so why not make this your starting point for either an introduction or a reunion with this musical tradition that still manages to give us interpreters who are able to shine new light to it. - Nondas Kitsos

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