Beirut March Of The Zapotec

Beirut– Realpeople Holland

It could be seen as some what of a strange release from Zach Condon, but the result is fruitful and glorious. March Of The Zapotec is just one part of this fabulous project; the musical part. After being approached to provide music for a series of short films about the Zapotec people of Mexico, Condon took it upon himself to gather the true identity of the people. The only way for him to do this was to move to the small Mexican village of Teotitlan del Valle and work with the native people, capturing the true essence of their cultural identity and their native musical roots. The six songs that make up March Of The Zapotec were entirely written, recorded and inspired by Zach Condon and the nineteen piece Mexican Jimenez Band. The music truly captures the native surroundings, forging a beautiful trip through the Mexican landscape that could only be achieved by the people who dwell in the area. Condon, the only English speaking member of the ensemble adds lyrics to a couple of the tracks, but otherwise heard as instrumental arrangements, the songs are densely layered with indigenous as well as contemporary instruments bridging Beirut’s sound with those of the Zapotec people. The accompanying visual footage will soon be available on Beirut’s website.

Packaged with this album is a wee bonus disc of material Condon rerecorded over the past year. The Holland EP is a collection of old bedroom material that was originally written before Beirut existed, when Condon called himself Realpeople. As a collection it is slightly hit and miss, starting with ‘My Night with the Prostitute from Marseille’ which is the most contemporary sounding of the five songs. ‘My Wife, Lost In The Wild’, ‘Venice’ and ‘The Concubine’ sound old, and it’s obvious they existed before work began on Beirut’s two albums Gulag Orkestar and The Flying Club Cup. However final track ‘No Dice’ is a fantastic electronic song, baring little resemblance to any Beirut track. It’s obviously something that Zach Condon experimented with at some point and is a real diamond at the end of this EP.

Posted by Nick Fulton under Album, Reviews
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