Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Music - Part 297 - Aurelio

Aurelio – Landini (Real World Records)
15 September 2014

Traditional Honduran artist releases his new album.  

The Garifuna are descendants from Western and Central Africa situated on the Caribbean coast of Honduras.  An idyllic sounding place if ever there was one, and the village of Plaplaya was the home to Aurelio Martinez who learned music with his mother without the aid of any electricity whatsoever.

The new album, Landini has an interesting blend of traditional music fused with Latin rhythms to make a surprising, though sometimes patchy album.  Songs are also tinged with a little surf style which maybe you’d expect, or not.  Very danceable and lots of hooks which are incredibly catchy.

Though performed in native tongue, it’s quite easy to spot that lyrics often contains sadness, maybe even regret but mixed with the upbeat music often confuses the ears.  Songs of tragedy mix with tracks written by his Aurelio’s Mother where she offers advice to her Son. 

Some of the tracks are almost steeped in pain.  Milaguru for instance describes a ferry accident in the 90s when all travellers were killed.  The words written by a grieving relative of a victim who begs the Captain to be careful.  The song feels sad and almost sounds like a version of Chris Isaak’s’ Wicked Game with its lovely sliding guitar.

There are clear African influences too which adds to the interest of the album, and together with the surf sound does make it unique to say the least.  Title track Landini is upbeat and tells the story of how difficult life in Plaplaya can often be.

Working with the same musicians he has performed with for fifteen years, the backing is often slick and well-timed.  Lirun Weyu and Durugubei Mani provide vocals from a choir of voices over very simple beats letting the tunes and melodies do the work and carry the songs along with ease.

Almost as an ambassador for Garifuna, Aurelio is their only artist representing his people in the world putting forward his and their voice to a larger audience and on the strength of this album he does them proud.


Real World Records
Aurelio website
Aurelio on Twitter

Published on Louder Than  War 15/09/14 - here

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