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Le Cherga | Revolve

Album review by John Powell

Le Cherga | Revolve

On Le Cherga’s most recent LP, Revolve, the band lays down a series of bizarre and freaky tracks that are nicely mixed up with dub reggae characteristics, some electronica mumbo jumbo, and tidbits of their Balkan heritage. Though overall it’s a good album, some tracks definitely outshine the rest.

As an opener, “Afgan” may not have been the best pick, although it is a fast tempo Euro pop risky track. Singer Adisa Zvekic has an eerie, at times masculine, ghoulish voice. “You can not manipulate me,” she coos. “Cuz you can still feel it.” The synths keep things dance-y, but it’s the drums and percussion that keep the song moving.

“Last Temptation,” however, beginning with a killer horn line and leading into a funky groove, is a much friendlier and approachable song. The sound effects on all the instruments are overwhelming, but also interesting and a real head rush. Played on club speakers, loud and bassy, this song would really take off. If “Afgan” turns you off, I would urge you to skip ahead and try out “Last Temptation”.

Likewise, “Make a Change” is a reggae’d out Balkan rollick, with great acoustic guitar, stop time and all, and Muamer Gazibegovic has a much lighter voice than Adisa. Together, though, their voices blend nicely.

Beware, songs like “Make a Change” and “Rise Up”, sounding oddly like a reggae’d out “Sweet Dreams Are Made of These”, are such charismatic and musically interesting songs that you’ll be dancing without thinking about it. When accordion comes in to play the counter rhythm in “Rise Up”, it’s what really makes Le Cherga good. Alvis Reid’s bass playing is acute and excellent, but the highlight are the horns, Kiril Kuzamanov’s alt. sax and Trajce Velkov’s trumpet.

“Sufi Dub” is a great example of why Adisa is a better songwriter than she is a singer. The melodies are forgetful, but like I said, the lyrics are concise and poetic. “Sometimes you forget that feeling,” she sings on “VI”, “but it remembers you instead.”

The closer, “Vorka Dot Com”, is a key track. The percussion is freaking excellent. Again, the horns mix up Balkan twirling with dubby harmonies. Musically, Revolve is unique and nicely produced. The album sounds wonderful, especially on big headphones. It’s not really a blast-in-the-car-album. It’s meant for dance parties: loud and thumping, but its integration of many genres, plus two vocalists, keep things interesting and fair.

Bottom line: Some of the songs off Revolve will become fast favorites, while others may fall to the wayside.


 

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