Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review - Viktor Mastoridis

You can learn from Viktor…

What’s a Bouzouki? a Tamboura? a Tambouritz Prim???? how can use them to create a cool fusion of Rock, Blues and Macedonian music? how can you mix baroque & jazz? make 5-8, 7-8, 9/4, 9/8, 11/8 all sound so natural? write a piece in 7/8 with swapping patterns of 2+2+3 & 3+2+2? Well have a listen to Viktor and all will be revealed.

Viktor Mastoridis is a creative Balkan Folk Fusion (with Rock & Blues) multi-instrumentalist that is based in London. He is a prolific writer that has 9 albums under his belt ranging from Children’s Music to World Prog Fusion. He likes to write in odd time, play traditional Balkan and modern rock instruments and fuse a variety of genres. He sent me two of his albums; Bridges (Mostovi) & Restless (Vol 2 World of Music Quatrology) and here is the oddness breakdown:

Bridges (Mostovi):
1. Taga Za Jug (Sadness for the South) 7/8 (3+2+2)
2. Pokazi Mi (Show Me) 5/8 (3+2)
3. Evdokia Dance 9/4 (2+2+2+3)
4. Go Fanale (Maiden’s Song) 4/4
5. Bol (Pain) 4/4
6. Hram (Temple) 7/8 (3+2+2)
7. Anazitisi (Show Me, Gr. vers) 5/8 (3+2)
8. Dalga 5/8 (2+3)
9. So Maki (with Sorrows) 4/4
10. Brzonogo Mashko Oro (Fleetfooted Mans Hora) 4/4

Restless (Vol 2. World of Quatrology)
1. Green Landscape 5/8 (3+2)
2. Dawn 9/8 (2+2+2+3)
3. Biljana 5/8 (3+2)
4. Dreams in Colour 4/4
5. Why 11/8 (2+2+3+2+2)
6. Rush Hour 9/8 (2+2+2+3)
7. Tamboura Dance 4/4
8. Ah Your Eyes 9/8 (2+2+2+3)
9. I Was Made For Love 7/8 (2+2+3 swapping with 3+2+2)
10. Spree 9/8 (2+2+2+3)
11. Baroque Jazz 4/4
12. Near East 4/4
13. Green Landscape 2 5/8 (3+2)

He is certainly a diverse writer that makes odd seem even. My favorites are “Dawn” because it sounds Opeth-esque (due to the use of minor classical chords) & “Near East” even though it’s in 4/4 its interesting because blends dance beats with eastern scales and accordion sounds (now if it was in odd time that would be way cool, say maybe 13/8 hint hint). The mix of Baroque & Jazz was quite creative too, definitely brought me back to my musical schoolin’. Also, many of the tracks on Bridges have great old world charm that brings me to the scenes of the Spaghetti Westerns with southeastern European costumes.

So, if you want to learn more about Balkan Fusion sounds, hear exotic instrumentation and odd meters and/or just want some interesting new music, then check out Viktor’s music site:

He also has a free song of the week to offer. Very Cool.

Naturally ODD,
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1 comment:

Meditera.Co.Uk said...

Thank you BetZe for this nice review. You have a noble and original idea - keep on discovering and bringing us the wonderful music of the Odd-time signatures.