Turlu Tursu

Accordion 'N Drum 'N Bass

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If you're going to play accordion you might as well get buck wild with it, and that's exactly what Fabian Beghin does here with Turlu Tursu, a trio that also includes bassist Nicholas Dechêne and drummer Etienne Plumer. Based in Belgium, the band plays music from Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Ireland, India, and France, not to mention the occasional klezmer-reggae tune. There are no frills here (and despite the album's title, no breakbeat samples), just rock-hard grooves in a variety of complex time signatures and a variety of exotic modes. The Bulgarian tune "Sitno Shopsko Oro" (which features guest clarinetist Aurélie Charneux) is almost punk in its driving intensity, and even "Planxty Sir Ulick Burke" -- the kind of Irish tune that is normally played with a stately elegance -- is given a sharp and rock-ish treatment. On "Raga Handadhwani," the album highlight, Beghin takes up the bansuri, an Indian bamboo flute, and plays a liltingly gorgeous melody while Plumer plays a skittering jungle beat underneath and Dechêne lays out a minimalist, almost pointillistic bassline that suddenly turns all flowing and blissfully melodic partway through. The klezmer-dub track may or may not be in 4/4 time (good luck counting), which gives it a charmingly twisted feel despite its otherwise straight-ahead reggae structure. Two tracks also feature lovely singing by Sibele Dinçer. Very highly recommended to anyone who needs the perfect disc for a hipster party.

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