KEITH BRAMICH samples D'Divaz
Tribal conflict, blood-curdling ancient chant [listen
-- track 1, 0:00-1:11], insects, machinery, violence, classical and prepared
piano ... just some of the concepts entering my head whilst listening to
three young female Juilliard graduates, originally from Belgrade -- Milica
Paranosic, Danijela Popovic and Aleksandra Vojcic. Teaming up to form D'Divaz,
they throw some disturbingly original sounds at us, and, in their own words,
'create and perform music relevant to our present and our future'.
Based around various noises produced with pianos, the trio also play
synths and percussion and produce their own strikingly unusual vocals. Much
of the music is very original, with the best of it, arguably, with its chanting,
crying, wailing and percussive piano sounds, in the first track, crne
oci ('dark eyes').
go/kolo begins with quiet, percussive, repetitive, piano noises
which continue for nearly six minutes before breaking into a Yugoslavian
folk tune on piano. It's a species of advanced musical humour that could
risk alienating some listeners, but I doubt that D'Divaz (who left their
lives in Yugoslavia at the beginning of the conflict in 1991 for a new start
in New York) lose much sleep worrying about such things.
A suite of five short tracks entitled nobody's begins with some
plucked low piano strings and electronica, then stabs of sampled piano and
effects, includes a weird waltz with an allargando feel and concludes
with an electronics number featuring artificial birdsong sounds.
panasonik is constructed from more electronica -- bright high sounds
and water droplet noises -- and then piano. The shimmering pitch shifting
effects here are a bit over the top, and this is probably intentional.
I wonder what s'x is about ... long, gentle and haunting, beginning
on one note, picking up pace as it continues, then climaxing [listen
-- track 9, 5:26-6:26] at about six minutes in. Is it significant that
it's on this track that D'Divaz are first joined by male musicians -- the
electric guitar of 'Bale' and drums of Brian Resnick?
boo-bah/go is a wild one, with a soft start -- low piano and drums,
leading into saran with its strongly Balkan-sounding theme. We end
with d'divaz 884.7 -- an ambient type track with bird song, percussion,
and those unmistakeable D'Divaz vocals again. Mostly light, upbeat and repetitive,
there's a Jungle-type atmosphere with laughter, looped vocal effects, snatches
of conversation and expletives in Serbian, and, finally, just birdsong.
Superbly played and sung by D'Divaz and friends, there's an immediacy
to Eric Somers' recording, and a stylishly designed CD sleeve in yellow,
black and white by Zoran Belic.
Copyright © 17 August 2002
Keith Bramich, Worcestershire, UK
PURCHASE FROM CDEMUSIC
ERIC SOMERS' HOMEPAGE
973-1 DDD Stereo 52'14" 2000 D'Divaz
D'DIVAZ, pianos, synthesisers, percussion, vocals; Bale, electric guitar; Brian Resnick, drums
crne oci; go/kolo; nobody's; panasonik; s'x; boo-bah/go; saran; d'divaz 884.7
Record Box is Music & Vision's
regular Saturday series of shorter CD reviews