Thursday, July 17, 2008

Nproject - 1/Berechit - It's more than an album, it's an overriding urge...

NProject 1/Berechit album coverI've got a new toy...Deezer. Deezer is a French music on demand service that, as you'd expect, has great coverage of the European scene. One interesting disc I ran across today is Nproject - 1/Berechit from Geneva, Switzerland. The disc has a variety of Jewish standards, mostly prayers and zemirot, done in a jazzy electronica style. The concept isn't exactly new, this territory has been mined in the past by Wally Brill's "Covenant", "Forgiveness: Traditional Jewish Prayers With Contemporary Electronic Music", and Gershon Kingsley's "God is a Moog" and a variety of others. But the style of jazzy downtempo that presented here works. Maybe not A list, but solid. they said, it's more than an album. It's an overriding urge.
"NProject is more than an album, it’s an overriding urge to compose a collection of albums intended to build a musical link between men. The aim is to ask artists of all ages, from all different sorts of backgrounds, believers, atheists or agnostics, brought up in every kind of religion and tradition, to get together and merge their talents to create from traditional songs and prayers a sound that exceeds the individual and reaches out to the universe. Title after title, the collection will offer a trip round the world, visiting different cultures and questioning accepted ideas. The first album in the collection, Berechit (at the beginning), reexamines traditional Jewish prayers and songs, drawing up from the roots the juice that will revitalise the tree. Featuring singers and musicians of all ages – the youngest is only 10 and the oldest over 70 – and from all religious faiths. A soothing album, “Hebrew voices against a rich background of soaring electronic sounds and haunting jazz. From under the crushing millstone of the great religions, a breath of sweet air seeps out.” Gabriel Catagnier, Edelweiss, May 2008"
So of course, I have to grump here. (I feel like I've been doing a lot of grumping lately) While Mr. Catagnier, a reviewer, thought it was clever to be insulting to Judaism at the same time he waxes poetic about the merits of the "Hebrew voices", I can't imagine why the publishers of the disc thought it was clever to quote him. I guess you can only "visit different cultures" if you also "question accepted ideas" loudly and rudely. Whatever. But check the disc out. It's a good listen.

You can get more info about NProject through the albums Myspace page and record label webpage.

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