Working as a sort of multicultural folk power trio, Marseille-based group Forabandit originally formed with the intent of linking the music of Occitanian troubadours with that of Anatolian Turks. Blending strange harmonies and chanting over mandocello (an Italian bass mandolin), saz (a plucked Turkish stringed instrument somewhat resembling a bouzouki), and hand percussion, they made their debut in 2012 with a self-titled record on the Buda Musique label. On their 2014 follow-up, Port, they further develop their theme with compositions that connect between the ports of Marseille and Istanbul, and they do so with flair and a dose of rock energy. Produced by French collective Full Rhizome, Port boasts a massive sound for an acoustic group playing on traditional instruments. The punchy rhythms of tracks like "Dil" and "Nemidoonem" show a fiercely dynamic group and the vocal interplay between Sam Karpienia and Ulaş Özdemir provides a unique push and pull to these more upbeat tracks. Elsewhere, songs like "Liman" and "Lost" show a moodier and more subtle side of the band. Iranian percussionist Bijan Chemirani's skittering handiwork is showcased on the exotic "Keywan," which develops slowly as the other members introduce their nimble string playing and ethereal harmonies. It's a compelling sophomore effort from this trio that is already in a league of its own.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger