The music of Foltin and its band members including, truly defy gravity. This makes it difficult, but fun to try to describe what they are doing. Somehow they seem to follow Brian Eno's maxim "Honour Thy Mistake as a Hidden Intention as they are turning each situation into their own advantage. They certainly imply guerrilla tactics when it comes to music making, always coming at you from unexpected places. As a result of that their music is dynamic, full of surprises, and humorousand they blend all sorts of influences together: jazz, improv music, funk, bossa nova, chalgia, klezmer, ambient, and film music. This approach makes their music sound unpredictable and challenging, thus making them one of the leading groups on the macedonian scene.
However, their rumbunctious, madcap, eclectic, yet subtle style germinated, evolved, and blossomed through the live performances which earned the band its reputation. The band's breathtaking and often theatrical (cabaret-like) performances have provided great moments for their audience and have cemented their image as a great live act.
Unforunately, the objective inability of the medium to present the visual aspect, which is a vital and integral part of their live act, plus the lack of proper producers and sound engeneers, has really hindered the quality of their recordings, as they sometimes sounded unfinished. But with Lo-Lee-Taa-Too
Foltin made a huge step forward in terms of production and they are returning with their best effort ever. As was their practice in the past, the material was created and tested in various live settings before it was recorded in the studio.
What they began on their previous record Donkey Hot
, a sort of pseudo-cabaret music, has been broadened to break new grounds, at moments resembling Tom Waits but with much more groove and dynamics. In the past the band usually based its music around a weird concept or a story. Donkey Hot
told the story of a donkey that wanted to be a horse, while Archimed
was an attempt to imitate electronic music but with acoustic instruments. Lo-Lee-Taa-Too
is a portrait of an artist who makes love to his instrument while playing it.
The album opens up with "Financial Times," a combination of bossa nova and funk. A nice rhythm guitar injects nice funky elements. This is followed by "Lolita," which is one of the album's funkiest tracks. It has great guitar riffs and pumping rhythms, but the clarinet is a killer, providing nice melodies that at the same time resemble both klezmer and chalgia melodies. The "Tip Of The Tongue" has a great opening accordion riff and a whistful clarinet, which, combined with a light groove, truly add a different color to the overall picture. "Ding Dong" is the most dynamic track on the album, with romping and stomping rhythms, steamy and grooving basslines, funky keyboards, and processed vocals. Actually, it's a reworked old classic of theirs, "Topka" ("Sphere"), recorded for the Archimed
album which seamlessly finds its place in the new material, a ringing testament to these players' growth and constant evolution as musicians.
"Dali znaes Pametish li Milice" ("Do You Remember, Milica") is an old popular traditional classic which can be heard in its original folk form on the Kaldrma
project CD, but here it is infused with a nice bossa nova feel (sang by guest actor Senko Velinov), feeding into the carnival atmosphere that echoes throughout the whole album
What makes Lo-Lee-Taa-Too
so great is Foltin's tasteful mastery over the myriad of influences present in its work and the fearless voyages into uncharted teritories. It's a delightful album made with great honesty, consisting of songs that transcend and defy any and all categories, resulting delightfully in music which is uniquely Foltin's own.
Personnel:Pierre Capitan, Pece Nikolovski: clarinet; Voice and lyrics: Wordman Rexpen, Branislav Nikolov: voice and lyrics; Pero de La Noche, Petar Dimitrovski: organ; Peter Helmsman, Pece Trajkovski: accordion, electric guitar; G. J. Mastman, Goce Jovanoski: bass; S. J. Oarsman, Dr. anestesiologista do Batteria, Slave Jovev: drums.
Track Listing:Financial Times; Lolita 2; The Tip Of The Tongue; If You Touch Me I'll Die; Ding Dong; Psst!; Garneta; Prsti Prsti; Milica.