Mendrugo - More Amor

by Rob Taylor Rating:10 Release Date:2016-07-29

Josephine Foster joins the Victor Herrero Band, Japanese woodwind artist, Taku and Spanish folk musician, Lorena Alvarez for a set of folk songs inspired largely by the Andalusian tradition.

More Amor Is a sparkling transnational jam session, a buzzing cantina of sounds that gesture you into its lovely homespun vibe, a camaraderie shared with the listener as much as the local communities of Andalusia. The folk traditions of Andalusia are not overly familiar to many, including me, but there’s certainly vicarious familiarity with other strains of Spanish music.

The very unfamiliarity of traditional folk music can be an alienating experience when musical structures and instrumentation are so different, but More Amor transcends that, like an unlikely love story you thought you’d choke over, but somehow it's charm insinuates itself and overcomes the scepticism. Take the vaguely Polynesian sounding ‘Manolo’, the chorus full of mysterious harmonies which beguile as much as they haunt. I felt as if I was lying under a swaying palm tree contemplating the swirling clouds, ahead of an afternoon sipping cocktails. The male harmonies also reminded me, with a faint accuracy, of the duet from Bizet’s Pearl Fishers. Which I mean to suggest in beauty and texture, if not in form. 

‘Estella Fugaz’ is like a Hawaiian lullaby to my ears, but again, I’m describing a sound not an influence. It's lovely stuff. 

There’s much more to feast on; the usual frenetic strumming of Spanish guitar, Taku’s rather hypnotic woodwinds, and a muted backbeat which gives Mor Amor’s acoustic backbone some impetus.

Occasionally, Josephine Foster and Co take their vocal harmonies a tad too high and wide, playfully almost letting out a screech at times. I found this disconcerting, but I put it down to the joyousness and spontaneity of the project, which is the real objective here. 

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