Classic or Dud: Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares

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Tedious and propograndistic noise...or...stirring and beautiful art that transcends politics? Are the Bulgarian Womens Chior a godsend or a ghastly mistake?
Also can be a search and destory or a taking sides (against...um...Huun Huur Tu?)

Lord Custos Alpha (Lord Custos Alpha), Monday, 23 September 2002 13:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

God, I think it's some of the lovliest music ever made... I just listened to an album over the weekend. Propagandistic? My Bulgarian is a little rusty, so I think the message may be lost on me. But the chords are insane: dense clusters of polyphonic racket. The arranger used the folk idiom as a launching pad for incredibly avant garde arrangements... but, I could see it as an acquired taste.

andy, Monday, 23 September 2002 15:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I like Le Mystere de Voix Bulgares just fine, though I couldn't sit and listen to them for the entire afternoon. I think the really close harmonies and complex chording is a great touch (probably one of the reasons I like X so much). I guess, from a certain perspective this album was the Buena Vista Social Club of its time: great music that was latched onto by the yuppie hipsters and made the cause celebre for a little while. Admittedly, when it was the obscure album of the moment, the world at large wasn't quite ready for something this challenging. Also, I like the fact that you could hear echoes of this in the Dead Can Dance albums that directly followed.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Monday, 23 September 2002 15:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic you western imperialist pigdog.

tigerclawskank, Monday, 23 September 2002 15:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

ps. In a cage match between Le Mystere and Huun Huur Tu it's hard to predict a winner...those growly Tuvan voices are pretty powerful, though Le Mystere may make up for it with sheer numbers.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Monday, 23 September 2002 15:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic. I heard this several years after it was actually popular, so I missed the yuppie fascination. Something about Eastern European folk music has everyone else's folk music beat, for me.

dleone (dleone), Monday, 23 September 2002 15:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

oh classic. heart breakingly gloriously classic...

commonswings, Monday, 23 September 2002 15:54 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic you western imperialist pigdog.
Grrrrrrrr-oink!

Lord Custos Alpha (Lord Custos Alpha), Monday, 23 September 2002 16:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Sean C: great music that was latched onto by the yuppie hipsters and made the cause celebre for a little while. Admittedly, when it was the obscure album of the moment, the world at large wasn't quite ready for something this challenging. Also, I like the fact that you could hear echoes of this in the Dead Can Dance albums that directly followed.
Taking sides: Dead Can Dance vs $3.50 for a cup of yuppie-oriented cappucino....FITE!

Sean C: ps. In a cage match between Le Mystere and Huun Huur Tu it's hard to predict a winner...those growly Tuvan voices are pretty powerful, though Le Mystere may make up for it with sheer numbers.
Ahhh, sure the Tuvans can fire their weapons from a moving horse, but I think the womens choir has its own glorious armored cavalry division.

dleone: Classic. I heard this several years after it was actually popular, so I missed the yuppie fascination. Something about Eastern European folk music has everyone else's folk music beat, for me.
Can you articulate why this is? Does the blood of Eastern Europe flow through you and fill you with an inexplicable nostalgia for a land for which you've never been to?

Lord Custos Alpha (Lord Custos Alpha), Tuesday, 24 September 2002 02:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Classic, but entirely invented. This is not Bulgarian peasants recorded round the embers of an Autumn fire, but professional state choristers singing songs written by their boss.

Which in a way makes it more amazing, not less so.

jon (jon), Wednesday, 25 September 2002 09:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Hence why I referred to them as both "propogandistic" and "stirring"

Lord Custos Alpha (Lord Custos Alpha), Wednesday, 25 September 2002 14:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...
Revive!

If only because I'm thinking of bringing them to Boston and want to know if people would still come out for a show like this. :-)

Myke. (Myke Weiskopf), Thursday, 17 August 2006 22:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

oh man I'd seriously consider flying over if it were their only us show.

they're beyond classic, I've been listening to the first two volumes again a lot in recent months. Going to have to check out the later records sometime soon, though there was a scary looking techno album in there obviously to be avoided.

In a cage match between Le Mystere and Huun Huur Tu it's hard to predict a winner...

if you're interested in what it would sound like, Huun Huur Tu did record two albums with the Bulgarian Voices Angelite. I need to recheck the liner notes, but I think I remember Angelite being a spin off group. I've heard Fly, Fly My Sadness and liked it, the voices do blend, I preferred the drawn out improvisations to the standards.

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 17 August 2006 22:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

My opinion is that the first two volumes are the stunners, but after a certain point, the brand name got exploited for all sorts of ridiculous and unrelated spin-off compilations. It's definitely a "tread lightly" situation once you get outside the Elektra/Nonesuch-distributed segment of their discography (although Vol. 3 on Fontana/Polygram is worthwhile).

The highest recommendation I could give would be for the "spin-off" group, Eva Quartet, which features four of the main choir's most oustanding young singers. They have two albums, although only one - Harmonies - is even remotely easy to find. Their stuff is recorded in an actual studio with absolutely no reverb or gratuitous processing, so you just get those bold, dissonant Bulgarian harmonies with a pristine, dry mix. The effect is striking to say the least.

FWIW, the main choir is playing two dates in Pittsburgh and one in Durham, NC thus far, but nothing close to Boston. (They quietly passed through NYC in March.)

Myke. (Myke Weiskopf), Thursday, 17 August 2006 22:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

thanks for the description of harmonies. I have always been curious to hear them without the reverb.

this CD compiling the earlier Nonesuch Explorers is also key: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000005IZA/ref=pd_cpt_gw_3/104-6023067-3629543?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=5174

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 17 August 2006 23:03 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This thread could be so easily expanded. I have tons of music on export from Bulgaria that is excellent, albeit impossible to find in the U.S.

Myke. (Myke Weiskopf), Thursday, 17 August 2006 23:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

it certainly deserves its own wider thread, though listing a few here couldn't hurt

milton parker (Jon L), Thursday, 17 August 2006 23:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Trivial question maybe, but did anyone ever sample this stuff?

Pete Scholtes (Pete Scholtes), Friday, 18 August 2006 05:43 (eleven years ago) Permalink

way too many people sampled this stuff

the first time I ever heard this music was through holger czukay sampling it on 'sudetenland' from rome remains rome in 1987 -- I like what he did with it very much

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 18 August 2006 06:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This album is actually quite bad:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000034AF/ref=m_art_pr_6/002-1509497-2600845?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=5174

I found it for $2 in a used CD bin.

o. nate (onate), Friday, 18 August 2006 20:35 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Dud. If I wanted to listen to a bunch of old dears moaning in a field I'd go to Sunday's car boot.

Son of Spam (noodle vague), Friday, 18 August 2006 21:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I really need to find this Eva Quartet

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 18 August 2006 21:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

lol!

Kate Bush made quite good use of their talents I thought.

rollin', rollin', rollin', keep them dogies rollin', rawhide! thread (fandango), Friday, 18 August 2006 21:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I really need to find this Eva Quartet

http://www.cdroots.com/km-eva.html

I ordered a copy yesterday after hearing the mp3s

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 18 August 2006 21:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I love cd roots (that's where I got the suden aika)

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 18 August 2006 22:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

CDRoots is good; there are four major outlets online for Bulgarian CDs, each of whom seem to carry a slightly different selection and have equally variable deals therein. Two of the best are actually eBay stores - BULGARIANA and ShopBulgaria - and the third is BulgarianCDs.com. I'm less fond of Bulgarian-Music.com; they're the most expensive and seem to have the shallowest selection, but they do have the highest volume of mp3s for sampling stuff.

Only BulgarianCDs seems to carry a second album by Eva Quartet; I haven't been able to locate it anywhere else. (Beware their hideous main graphics for Bulgarian chalga, or pop-folk, artists. The stuff verges on Balkan soft-core porn... with the exception of the truly unreal Azis, anyway.)

Myke. (Myke Weiskopf), Saturday, 19 August 2006 01:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

FWIW, here's a link to their booking agency to keep track of tour dates: http://www.eyefortalent.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/artist.performance_schedule/artist_id/66

skoolbus39 (skoolbus39), Saturday, 19 August 2006 16:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

have listened to Eva Quartet everyday since I posted above. this is music that works like adrenaline for me -- the more I hear it, the more I want to hear it, and the more it makes me want to take some kind of...music...action. Anyway, thanks for the recommendation

Dominique (dleone), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 13:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

As a goth teen, I decided to check them out and picked up 'From Bulgaria with Love: The Pop Album '

Baaderonixx: the lost ILX years (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 13:49 (ten years ago) Permalink

I saw them at the weekend, playing with Trans Global Underground. They rocked.

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 21:07 (ten years ago) Permalink

I was a small lad during the apparent yuppie infatuation with this stuff, and remain ignorant of what living through the fad was like... so it sounds cool as far as I'm concerned

xave (xave), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 21:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

eva quartet's harmonies cuts diamonds, thanks for recommendation Myke

From Bulgaria with Love: The Pop Album, techno remixes, definitely not the best introduction to the group

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 29 August 2006 22:07 (ten years ago) Permalink

This is also sans reverb, though it's just three of them and is traditional tunes:
http://www.amazon.com/-Forest-Is-Crying/dp/B00000DU85/
Greet album.

These Robust Cookies (Robust Cookies), Wednesday, 30 August 2006 05:07 (ten years ago) Permalink

The Trio Bulgarka count Kate Bush as a great admirer (she’s recently cited The Forest Is Crying as a favorite and featured the trio on her albums The Sensual World and The Red Shoes.) Produced by Joe Boyd (R.E.M., Fairport Convention).

bingo

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 30 August 2006 05:41 (ten years ago) Permalink

Oh, by the way, it seems that Le Mystere are doing a much larger U.S. tour. Note the following dates:

11/28/2006
Tuesday
Grandville , OH
Denison

11/28/2006
Tuesday
Granville, OH
Denison University, Swasey Chapel
Show: 8:00

11/29/2006
Wednesday
Pittsburgh , PA
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

11/29/2006
Wednesday
Pittsburg, PA
Byham Theater, 101 6th St
Show: 7:30

11/30/2006
Thursday
Kutztown, PA
Kutztown University

11/30/2006
Thursday

Kutztown University, Schaeffer Auditorium, Main St
Tix: $14-$28, Show: 7:30

12/02/2006
Saturday
Durham, NC
Duke University

12/02/2006
Saturday
Durham, NC
Page Auditorium, Duke University
Show: 8:00

12/03/2006
Sunday
New York, NY
Symphony Space

12/03/2006
Sunday
New York, NY
Symphony Space, Sharp Theatre, 2537 Broadway at 95th St
Show: 4:00

12/05/2006
Tuesday
Cambridge , MA
Serbian Orthodox Church

12/07/2006
Thursday
Columbus, OH
Steve Rosenberg

12/08/2006
Friday
Washington, DC
Embassy of Bulgaria

12/10/2006
Sunday
Cleveland, OH
Shrine Church of Saint Stanislaus, 3649 E. 65th St
Show: 4:00

12/11/2006
Monday
Cleveland , OH
Cleveland Museum of Artas

More to follow at the URL noted by Skoolbus: http://www.eyefortalent.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/artist.performance_schedule/artist_id/66

Myke. (Myke Weiskopf), Thursday, 7 September 2006 00:31 (ten years ago) Permalink

ten years pass...

Very first concert I ever paid to see!

i believe that (s)he is sincere (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 8 August 2017 22:58 (one week ago) Permalink


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