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Den Za Den - Den Za Den CD (album) cover

DEN ZA DEN

Den Za Den

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.01 | 19 ratings

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clarke2001
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Leb i Sol offshoot?

Another record balancing between jazz-rock and Balkan folk. Yes, if you think it sounds like LEB I SOL, you're right. It does sound like that. At the moments if this was an offshoot of the band, with aliases in the line-up. As a line of comparison it's like listening to THINK FLOYD. I don't have a problem with that. If someone is stealing the style, that's fine, as long as the songs themselves aren't stolen.

There are a few things distancing this record from the LEB I SOL ones (and distancing even more from SMAK another jazz-rock/folk combo): it's more jazzy. The playing is tight, dense, perhaps too homogenic for my taste, I would rather prefer a bit of collage and a few silent moments here and there.

It's closer to, let's say, WEATHER REPORT, and therefore closer to contemporary fusion/Balkan folk scene (VASIL HADZIMANOV). And DEN ZA DEN sound more like a combo then a group of individuals; all the instruments are bold, piano is even more daring (in jazz context), but the palette of the soundscapes is somewhat limited. Please note that Limit here still represents a huge area for improvisations.

Maybe, maybe, maybe there was no intention to sound Leb i Sol-like, perhaps it was sort of a coincidence. Is this too streched and naive? Well, Leb i Sol hadn't started the whole thing, SMAK did, if I'm not much mistaken. Perhaps there was a fusion-y trend in the mid-late seventies that gather more names under its blanked while many remained obscure. Such a thing won't be unusal in contemporary Macedonian musical scene - the bands gather around Makedonska Streljba folk-goth-punk movement (late 80's/early 90's) or more recent wave of world/fusion ensembles (mid-late 90's with EZGIJA; OKTOEHOS etc.). From that point of view, DEN ZA DEN have a clear place in Macedonian rock culture, and a good place at that. Even if we force the copycatting argument, Den Za Den sounds like some of BETTER Leb i Sol albums - it was issued just when thing started watering down. With or without any of the contexts, this is a very good record.

clarke2001 | 4/5 |

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