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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Farmers Market/Stian Carstensen website  Farmers Market/Stian Carstensen - n/t [Winter & Winter/Edel - 2001]

Buy this CD now!
I'm not sure if this is a bandalbum or a solo-album by Stian Carstensen, but the whole band appears on this album so I assume this is a bandalbum.

On Farmers Market's third album the band strives for a more fluid incorporation of all different musical flavors to the Bulgarian wedding sound. They invited many guests to play along, mostly from Bulgaria but also from India (tablaplayer Jai Shankar).The album kicks off fairly traditional and acoustic with Ramadan's Slow Song & Dance and the vocal song A Young Girl Made A Crown Of Forest Flowers. Graovo Dance is the first song in the new matured Farmers Market style. Groovy jazz/rock rhythms applied to Bulgarian songs while adding Indian tabla and ambient electric guitar. It's all very tasteful and it doesn't sound strange or farfetched at all. Also Philip Simeonov's clarinetsolo is amazingly 'Indian'. I think this is the biggest achievement of Farmers Market: they are able to combine all these elements without sounding cheesy. Amazing musicianship and genuine love and respect for the basis of their music (which is of course Bulgarian folkmusic) makes them get away with everything. Whether it's bluegrass banjo picking or fullblown jazz: it all fits natural in the big picture.

Through the album we travel from the soundtrack to a mute black and white movie (Some Fag Rag) to Greece and India at the same time (Jog Trot). But also to Africa (The Straight One) and electric funk (Monkey's Dance). We get a new version of Smeseno Horo (already released on their debut Speed/Balkan/Boogie) that is reworked with some 'hiccups' in the main melody. In Trifonov's Fifth saxophoneplayer Trifon showcases his knowledge of jazz standards.The insane tempi and the odd meters prove all musicians are masters on their (sometimes multiple) instruments.

The production of this album is also outstanding and the packaging is superb (as usual on this label). The western elements make Farmers Market a perfect stepping stone for anyone getting interested in music from the Balkans or if you feel Ivo Papasov or Ferus Mustafov are too traditional. Or if you liked this music already and fancy something new of course!

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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