DeLeon/DeLeon

[9 December 2008]

By Steve Horowitz

Daniel Saks is the leader and brainchild of DeLeon, an assortment of Jewish musicians who combine the ancient Sephardic folk music from the Iberian Peninsula (before the Inquisition) with urban noise to create a bubbling stew. The melodies veer in and out of harmony in strange rhythms and tempos to create a modern cacophony with primeval echoes. The lyrics are sung in various languages including Spanish, Ladino, Hebrew, and English. The resulting mishmash has its strengths as it conveys a sense of global community where past and present are always with us. There is an order in the chaos that allows the music to be danced to, even if the different dancers move to the beats of different drummers. Communal anarchy has its merits, and this provides the soundtrack to the new old world disorder. Saks claims Animal Collective and the Talking Heads as influences, and the indie rock vibe is certainly present here.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/66181-deleon-deleon/