Faren Khan – Faren Khan (Jamendo)
Another old timey album today, released in March of 2008 ‘Faren Khan’ offers yet more proof that I’m about as cutting edge as a very un-cutting thing, a sponge perhaps, or a blunt rock. Anyway, the practice of reviewing stuff which is at least vaguely new only half counts with CC music, especially when you come across something which stands out from the usual in some way, which this, rather entertainingly, does.
Faren Khan is a Folky(ish) group, sort of, although you’d be just as right calling them Jazzy(ish) or Worldy(ish), which is enough ‘ish’ to add interest in itself I reckon. Their self titled album is a collection of instrumental tracks which according to them is Klezmer music, or Jewish/Balkan Folk to the uninitiated, a claim which I can’t judge given that I, like pretty much everyone else, have never heard of Klezmer music and have no idea how it’s supposed to sound. Although the connections to traditional Jewish music are fairly audible in parts but there’s enough else in here for ‘World’ to probably be the best available classification.
In the same vain as ‘Um Perto’ which I reviewed not long ago this is an album of musicians basically enjoying what they do and doing it well, which in this instance leads to up beat, fast traditional music, the sort of stuff which is made for drinking and spinning around, before falling over, a bit like some of the faster Irish or Arabic Folk. By no means does that make for a deep album of course, there’s nothing here to sit around contemplating even amongst the more sedate tracks, of which there are a few, but that’s no bad thing and it does a good enough job of offering idle enjoyment to not be judged for what it might not have.
This sort of music, whether it’s tied to an acoustic national tradition or infused with a more modern feel, remains a rarity in the world of Creative Commons and aside from a few minor labels it’s fairly marginalised in the world of commercial labels too. Which you’d think would make it an ideal asset for the CC movement to pick up given that we can freely distribute it to an audience it would never otherwise reach and, in the case of some of the more purist stuff, save it from dying off along with it’s hardcore minority of fans but evidently that’s not being done to any major degree. A CC Folkways anyone?
But that’s straying from the point in a big way, Faren Khan is deep in the heart of ‘mainstream’ World music, the sort of stuff that Putamayo or similar labels would cover so none of the above really applies here. Nice little album though with a couple of fast paced, stand out tracks, worth a listen. Plus at least once it made me feel like I was in a Mos Isley cantina…