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Molca - Super Ethnic Flavor

Molca - Super Ethnic FlavorWe have come to expect the unexpected when we hear a band for the first time and none can be more unexpected than this recent Musea release from Molca.  As implied by the title, the music has an ethnic flavour (they have used the American spelling you'll note) but not from one particular part of the world - European folk, Arabian/middle-eastern music, Caribbean, oriental, American, Irish, you name it, they cover it.  The big surprise is that Molca hail from Japan.  Now that may not sound too surprising to you but if and when you here this music, Japan is probably the last place you would associate with it.

The five musicians create a warm ethnic fusion of jazz-folk with a prog feel of some superb flute and violin.  The modern sound (say of the last 40 years) is offset by styles associated with a bygone era as in the almost traditional Yiddish or even east European influence in There's A Fire In The Kitchen!

Some tracks  such as the distinctly Celtic flavoured (Bothy Band?) Shamrock Storm are faithful to a large degree to their ethnic roots but even so the warmth of the instrumentals often carry that Canterbury edge.

The jazz aspect when it comes to the fore in tracks like My Friend is very friendly and easy going.  If you ever watched Fry & Laurie's Jeeves & Wooster series on television a few years ago, the tempo and style of Black Maria would have fitted in very well to the charming 1920's soundtrack.

The orangey-tan colour could put a few folk off but Super Ethnic Flavor is full of life, great tunes and arrangements and excellent musicianship and will certainly be appreciated by anyone who enjoys a touch of folk, jazz and humour alongside their prog.  As is often said of books and also applies to CDs, you cannot judge something by its cover.

Jem Jedrzejewski

Molca

Musea

 

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