The Magic Carpathians


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The Magic Carpathians have composed some of the best experimental music coming out of Eastern Europe in the first part of the decade. Denega, released in 2001 on Obuh Records, affirms their growing status as an original, top-notch ambient-folk band. With beautiful piano arrangements, nature sounds, and excellent rock production, the Carpathians fit nicely in the ranks of such elite names as Tortoise and Secret Chiefs 3. This Polish experimental duo consistently merges magnificent harmonies, sensual melodies, and original note progressions. This is mainly an instrumental album, with the occasional vocal line thrown in by Anna Nacher. There are moments of brilliance throughout, but as magnificent as their sonic textures may be, the bulk of their songs never go anywhere. Their songwriting abilities lag far behind their sense of composition, and it hamstrings much of their music. While their ability to mix break-beats, animal grousings, and catchy melodies will likely draw you in, the development of the song isn't guaranteed to keep your attention. Songs definitely lack climax and direction, but who knows -- it's experimental, so maybe that's the point.