MUSIC • FAVOURITES OF THE MONTH
We can feel the unseen networks of the soul flowing through the music.
Portico Quartet are a contemporary instrumental group from London. They are famous for using the modern percussion instrument called, ‘Hang’. The instrument is very calming and serves for meditation.
Their album Knee-Deep in the North Sea is great to listen to while working, or on a relaxed Sunday morning. The instrument is very calming and serves for meditation.
Watch the video below to get to know more about the band. You can also visit their website from the link here.
Video Produced by Red Bull: Red Bull Music — Live Session, 2017
The story of the instrument, Hang, itself is also very interesting. The Hang was created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in, Switzerland, in the 2000s. There is a documentary by Thibaut Castan and Véronice Pagnon, completed in 2006, explaining the history of the PANArt Hang Instrument. The film traces the instrument back to its origins in Bern, Switzerland, and gives insights about how the instrument was developed by its creators.
You can find about Hang, from the link here.
Artstein recently discovered Dead Combo, a folk band which released their debut album Vol. I in 2004. Their music mixes fado with spaghetti western-inspired music.
Fado is a genre specific to Portuguese music and which dates back to the1820s.
Spaghetti western music is a style which was developed by the Italians in the mid-1960s, composed specifically for the Italian western films known as spaghetti westerns.
When these regional musical styles are mixed with jazz, alternative and world music, Dead Combo’s music creates its signature sound: instrumental, melancholic and wistful, deeply passionate, and often romantic but austere.
Dead Combo are a duo: ‘Tó Trips’ (guitars) and ‘Pedro Gonçalves’ (double bass, electric guitar, keyboards). They incarnate two characters who could have come straight from a comic book: a undertaker and a gangster. Life is like a movie when you listen to Dead Combo, and the duo must feel that way too.
CONGO & BELGIUM
Baloji describes himself as an artist in motion, a musician, poet, film director, man of images and ideas, and he certainly is all of these things.
He directs his own videos and creates the visuals for his varied projects, and recently won Best Video at the Paris film festival “Festival Silhouette” for “Peau de Chagrin/Bleu de nuit”.
The artist describes the video in an interview to Dazed:
“It’s based on Congolese wedding tradition where a couple stands in front of a vegetal installation, a Pygmy tradition. It’s a place where you stand and receive presents from family and friends. Some of the most common presents you receive are plastic flowers, plastic bags of rice, or even a goat. And then if you stand there on your own, it means something happened – your partner changed their mind or something went wrong.”
Baloji was born in Lubumbashi (DRC Congo) and grew up in Belgium. His music seems to reflect him, as it is formed of many cultural elements of his own origin, Congo, but he twists these with a modern European touch. In a way, it seems like his music was also born in Lubumbashi, and then grew up in Belgium with him.
Mixing his cultural music with French hip-hop creates, in his own words, “the fruit of an unlikely alliance between rockrumba and futurist funk”. And that fruit is actually Baloji himself.
Watch his video below - you will be inspired! Baloji is available on Spotify.