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Vasil Hadzimanov Band - Lines in Sand CD (album) cover

LINES IN SAND

Vasil Hadzimanov Band

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.00 | 3 ratings

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memowakeman
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

Another great release from the Moonjune family!

As a reviewer, but mostly as a music fan, I have to thank a label like Moonjune Records for introducing me to a vast amount of musicians and sounds that come from countries around the globe whose music was not in my daily basis. The offer of this eclectic label has brought me evident satisfactions, because I've been able to reach new cultures through the sounds of its artists. One of those artists is Serbian keyboard player Vasil Hadzimanov, a talented man that has no boundaries in his compositions.

Under the name of Vasil Hadzimanov Band, he and a bunch of great musicians have created "Lines in Sand", an album that fortunately offers a delicious mixture of sounds that go from jazz to funk, from rock to psych. Eclectic and challenging, to be more concise. "Lines in Sand" is also the opener title-track. It starts with a soft mid-eastern flavor, some percussion and Arabic chants in the first moments, later keyboards and strings join and together develop a jazzy sound which carries a breath of tranquility on it.

The first evident change comes with "Mr. Moonjune" whose sound is completely different from the previous song. This time the band give us a delicious blend of funk and jazz, firstly with that fast and explosive funky moment, secondly with a soft classical piano sound, and then, with a magnificent fusion of those genres and the silent addition of prog rock. A sax is added after two minutes, and then the band continue to experiment and give the listener a musical tour, which by the ways, works as a tribute to Leo Pavkovic, founder of Moonjune Records.

A nice soft jazz tune comes next with "San Snova" in which the piano is the main element. The sound can be tasty for those who love classical jazz. This spirit continues with "Lost" in which a female voice appears and adds beautiful textures. The music is delicious; the fretless bass is hypnotizing and works as a great partner of drums and piano. I like that the music is never plain, so the band can surprise us in any moment with some changes, like in the final moments of this track where Marta Hadzimanov's voice returns. When it fades out, we are suddenly listening to "Kazi", a short piece that might work as an interlude. It has an electronic orientation, a bit spacey and trippy that leads to "Kazi Gradiska", whose musical style takes me back to the 70s and reminds me of Weather Report or even Passport.

The eclecticism of this album continues with "Maklik", now the band gives us an amazing funky-jazzy-spacey song, a hook that we bite so we will not escape from its charm. This is one of my favorite tunes here, by the way. "For Clara" is another change (see how the songs share different styles from one to another, it is great, never plain), this time the music is complemented by the voice of singer Dean Bowman, who I imagine with suit and tie singing to a woman's ear in a surreal film. There is a dub feeling around this song, but the jazzy essence is what guides this tune. Wonderful sax in the last part, complementing the already wonderful percussion work and of course, the amazing Vasil's keys.

"Waiting for?" is another short interlude, this time led by guitar, and complemented with soft noises as background that creates a tense atmosphere. It leads to "Freedom From The Past", which has again a mid-eastern flavor on it, reminding me even of some Dead Can Dance passages. But it is only in the introduction, because at minute two the song changes drastically and now puts us into a jazz fusion mood with a Latin spirit. I mentioned above, but the name of Weather Report has appeared in my mind once again while listening to this excellent track. "Ratnici Podzemlja" is another great track that shares different genres. Here we can enjoy a wonderful bass playing some funk, while keys and strings keep the jazz spirit. It is great to see how colorful the Vasil Hadzimanov Band is! The album finishes with "Rege Hadzi", a very nice tune that adds a reggae-like sound to this already eclectic album. I thank Vasil and the band for daring to create music without limits, the result is a bunch of short stories that can live on their own, but together create one big interesting story.

Enjoy it!

memowakeman | 4/5 |

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