Thursday, December 22, 2016

World Percussion Christmas - Andrea Centazzo

So I decided to shake things up and throw a curve ball. The other albums were, and have been, a bit dry. I also don't want to run out of James Brown christmas albums just yet. This is a sort if bizarre idea for an album. I mean in reality it isn't that bizarre, I just wish there was more information about it. I guess it would make sense this guy would make this album, after all he is one Elektriktus. So without further ado, Andrea Centazzo.
  1. Jingle Bells: This track features, marimba and Togo drums. I fucking love the marimba with a passion but am unaware of the Togo drums. But also, fuck this song. No really fuck it. The only time give heard a version I like is the short quote on Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life. And actually, I can really jive with what I'm hearing. Like honestly, this is the first time I can't really find something to nit pick for a christmas album. I have heard the song, but this is kind of honestly a breathe of fresh air. I really like these Togo drums and the marimba. There sounds like there is other instruments used, but it is very good. It gives me a synclavier vibe, but much more sophisticated. Which it should, it's 20 years after the release of Jazz from Hell.
  2. Silent Night: I almost didn't recognize the track with the introduction. I like it. My only thing is I don't like how it repeated the first verse twice before going to the second. Maybe I spaced out for a second, but this is still much more enjoyable. I love the percussion and the different rhythms and it sounds great. It says that Bali sarongs, Indian drums and contemporary mallet keyboards where used in this track. I'm gonna have to buy some of these when I get rich :D. It does go a bit long, but it's forgivable.
  3. Feliz Navidad: I don't jive with this tune. I think its kind of a stupid and annoying song, but maybe this version will give it fresh eyes for me. Or fresh whatever the phrase is. This has another great introduction and is probably my favorite version of the track. It says it uses samba drum ensemble and Latin marimbas... I don't care what it uses, this sounds freaking great. It's got a playful feeling to it and the rhythms are so fucking good.
  4. White Christmas: There is a nice feeling here, though it doesn't feel all that new. The reason I say is this has kind of begin to run out of ideas. I mean not in a bad way, but it's not something I'm that excited about. Like there isn't anything making anything stand out thus far. This track is okay, and it's well enough, but I don't feel that rush I felt from the other preceding tracks you know. The instruments used are Mali drums, Javanese mallet keyboards, vibes and marimbas.
  5. Sleigh Ride: I actually like this much more than the last track. While you can argue, it sounds all the same, but I really like way the melody is played on those contemporary mallet keyboards. I also like the African drums and what sounds like a midi bass. I really like when the melody speeds up and it reminds me of why I love when you use percussion effectively.
  6. Holy Night: This features the Bell's ensemble. I have no fucking idea what that is, unless it's an ensemble of bells or an ensemble called the Bell's Ensemble. Either way this opens with chimes and rain, reminds me of Black Sabbath. I do like this version quite a bit, it feels like a lullaby. On Spotify this is titled the Rainy Version, but on Discogs it's titled Holy (Rainy) Night. I like it and it's solid.
  7. Greensleeves: I happen to love this tune. There are a number of old traditional/public domain songs that I love. This one is one of my all time favorites, its a gorgeous melody I was excited to see it played on Trinidad steel drums and Caribbean percussion. This is fun and has a bit of a spy feeling to it. Honestly this is the best track here and reminds me a bit of Goldeneye 64.
  8. Silver Bells:This Javanese  version uses gamelan. I was excited for it, I have an interest in gamelan, and how it works. There is a very peaceful track and I quite enjoy it. Damn, this thing is quite fun. There is a lullaby feeling. I can jive with this.
  9. The Little Drummer Boy: The use of a Japanese Taiko drum ensemble and Kabuki instruments really work well for this track. I like the melody instruments and the textures work quite well. Giving it a surprising twist, you'd think it'd be more Arabian sounding or eastern. Though it does has a bit of a Macedonian feeling.... I think if I remember humanities class right. This goes a bit long, but it isn't terrible.
  10. Silver Bells (African Version): Finally to close we get some Senegal drums and rattling kalimbas. Kalimbas are finger pianos, for those who don't know. Now to sound less pretentious, I don't know what senegal drums are by name. I know what they are but I had to double check. The African drum, and actually I enjoy this opening. It's setting up a groove in a similar way that Fela does. Except it isn't as explosive, loud or not percussive. This feels like it could be a cover almost, kind of. The non melody parts you know. Like just re arrange the lead with a saxophone and add other instruments and your there. It isn't half bad to be honest. I dig it.
Overall I have to give this album a 7.5/10. This was a lot of fun and kind of revitalized my hope for other christmas albums. Plus it will definitely survive past this review of the album, and I will revisit this in the future. Solid effort. I don't have more to say other than listen to this if you don't give a fuck about christmas music or you want an breathe of fresh air, or you like world music, or you are a percussionist.

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