Ixo-sho (Pyrene Pyr-003, 2009)
The new album by Xarnege continues the fascinating explorations of the ancient land of Vasconia which includes the current Basque Country in Spain and Gascony in France. The CD booklet includes all lyrics which appear in Basque and Gascon. You can also get them in Spanish and French by going to the band’s web site.
Xarnege uses a wide variety of musical instruments from the region, including the alboka (Basque) and boha (Gascon) horns, fabulous hurdy gurdy, several types of flutes, accordion, and more. The band transforms traditional music from from both sides of the western Pyrenees, from Bearn (France), Navarra (Spain) and The Basque Country (Spain and France) and makes it edgy and contemporary. At times, the overall sound can get as loud as a rock band. The traditional styles range from branles, gavottes and jauzis to segidas, polkas, rondeus, mutchikoak and waltzes.
The current line-up includes Joan Baudoin on bohas, flabutas, hurdy-gurdy, ttun ttun and vocals; Simon Guillaumin on hurdy-gurdy and vocals; Lucia Longué on flabutas, besson, accordion, bass, boha and vocals; Josean Martín Zarko on bouzouki and vocals; and Juan Ezeiza on fiddle, bass and albokas.
Ixo-sh introduces the listener to a beguiling melting pot of sounds from the Western Pyrenees.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.