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TRACK LIST: 1. Kava-Kava / Emanacija / Ishtar 17:02 2. Dan San / Proton 8:34 3. Sapat / Sento de Autuno 10:15 4. Trauma / Pust 12:25 LINEUP: Branko Crnogorcic – drums; guitars, synthesizers Marino Bursic – guitars, bass; synthesizers Marko Kalcic – bass; percussion; vocals With: Sandro Perocevic – contrabass Branko Radic – orchestration Srda Radulovic – percussion Ivan Uravic – kaval, djembe Tatiana Giorgi – vocals Samanta Stell – flute Edi Premate – synth violin Leon Brenko – synth organ Svetlana Radosavljevic – gongs
Prolusion. The Croatian band SNOVI was formed back in 2008, initially consisting of the formative duo of Bursic and Crnogorcic, with Kalcic joining in 2009. They released their self-titled debut album in 2011. "Ciklus" is their second studio recording, self-released in 2014.
Analysis. While the combo’s debut album marked Snovi as primarily a space rock band, they have expanded the borders rather considerably on their second studio effort – in terms of personnel as well as stylistic scope. In fact, quite a lot of this album is much more psychedelic in spirit than it is founded in space rock as such, and yet again, I find myself thinking that this is a band that isn't typical for the styles they explore, even if using familiar elements. The alternating use of gentler, wandering guitar motifs and harder-edged guitar riffs with and without keyboards and effects that add a futuristic sheen to the compositions are still present, but on this occasion these excursions have somewhat of a secondary role to play –‘present, but not dominant, in fact. Instead, Snovi opts to reach out to and include a fair array of world music tendencies into their excursions on this album, with tribal rhythms, didgeridoo, chant-like vocals and exotic tendencies being recurring features throughout. Ambient sequences have their place too, with electronic effects, sampled bird sounds and cosmic textures, but there's also at times plenty of room for almost pastoral flute solo sequences and acoustic guitar details of the kind and variety that invoke thoughts of folk music of some kind or another quite naturally. All captured in sequences and songs that have that occasional improvised feel to them, something that often comes with the territory when dealing with mainly instrumental bands that actively explore psychedelic and space-oriented creations in my experience. There's also a brief sequence towards the end where the song hits an almost techno-like tribal passage, if not for anything else indicating that this is a band that has the potential to create music even broader in general scope.
Conclusion. With their second album "Ciklus", the Croatian musicians have expanded the boundaries of their initial space rock foray to include a broader psychedelic sound, where the inclusion of world music and exotic-sounding elements complement and, to some extent, dominate their initial space rock-based foundation. A well executed album is it too, and one that merits a check by those with a general interest for mainly instrumental bands in the psychedelic and space rock vein.
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