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by Bruce Lindsay
Onwards To Mars! is the twentieth anniversary release from the big Balkan brass band that is Fanfare Ciocărlia. One of the finest live acts on Earth, the band's energy, musicality and sheer unfettered sense of fun readily translate to record, making this album one of the most uplifting and cheerful collections one could wish to hear. Fanfare Ciocărlia sets out its stall on the a cappella opening to Crayfish Hora"--funny, unpretentious, and immediately engaging, it draws the listener ...read more
by Chris M. Slawecki
Ҫiğdem Aslan was born in the cultural crossroads of Istanbul. She moved to London, hoping to advance her onstage and classroom studies in various musical cultures; these studies include her Songs of Smyrna project, which celebrates rebetiko and sephardic music from Turkey, and joining the She'Koyokh Klezmer Ensemble and the Balkan group Dunav. Mortissa is her solo debut, composed of rebetiko and smyrniac songs (often called the blues of the Agean") from the 1920s and '30s. Most of the songs ...read more