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Alejandro Franov

Khali

(Staubgold; US: 11 Jun 2007; UK: 24 Sep 2007)

Alejandro Franov is Argentinean. He helps Juana Molina with her albums. On Khali he uses instruments that imitate the flowing sound of water, rain, or rivers. He likes harps, sitars, marimba, kalimba. He also likes African music from the south and west. The two songs that are not credited to Franov himself are described as “the traditional music of Shona, Zimbabwe.” And the harp sounds like a kora. It might even be a kora. The Spanish credits call it an ‘arpa’ with no mention of it being an arpa africana or just a normal arpa. The gamelan has had an impact on him, and so has the raga. He introduces the album with a short “Micerino Alap” on the sitar and goes on from there, rippling and musing and making mbira boings. The music is sometimes monotonous, as rivers can seem monotonous. Things pick up at the end when he brings the natural noises of birds into one of the Shona tracks, thickening the music. He has some of the intercultural instincts and multi-instrumental talent of a Bob Brozman but not the same popularising drive, nor the same need for beats, verses, and choruses. Alejandro Franov is different. He likes to float.

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