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Marcelo Woloski: Mundo Por Conocer

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Marcelo Wolowski
Percussionist, Producer and Composer Marcelo Woloski

In a world where many drummers and percussionists – indeed many musicians – are scrambling to catch up with the complex of rhythmic intonations, undulations and cadences that were once hidden in the nooks and crannies and the riches of old civilisations Marcelo Woloski is very far ahead of the curve. An Argentinean musician and percussion colourist who employs an enormous aural palette to express himself Mr. Woloski has served up one of the most exotic easily twelve songs ever to make it to record certainly on this side of the Atlantic. In just over half an hour of music on Mundo Por Conocer, Marcelo Woloski takes us across a beautiful topography that stretches across the southern part of the Americas all the way to even the Norway of Edward Greig, and across every musical horizon into the brightness of a melodic tapestry woven on the elemental “Sonrisa”.

Marcelo Wolowski: Mundo por Conocer
Marcelo Wolowski: Mundo por Conocer

It might seem like a cliché to suggest that cultures collide in music until you have had a chance to listen to Mr. Woloski’s Mundo Por Conocer. The percussionist has quite literally served up a veritable feast for the senses on these twelve songs. Each of the tracks is exquisitely formed and swirls in and out of rhythmic patterns that make it impossible to sit down and still while listening to this music; a particular challenge for reviewers with pen on paper or fingers on the keyboard of a computer, much less endeavoring to do so with eyes wide open. Mr. Woloski’s music can also be extraordinarily visual to be enjoyed with video to go with it and although we know from the record’s packaging that this aspect has been entrusted to the magnificent videographer Andy LaViolette, sadly does not come (packaged) with a DVD.

Mr. LaViolette is not the only contributor to this album, however, and there are as many as twenty-fine musicians who’ve contributed their artistry to making Mundo Por Conocer the masterpiece that it is. Among them the multi-instrumentalist Magda Giannikou who first introduced Marcelo Woloski to the world at large through Banda Magda, and who brings the soaring, mellifluous strains of her accordion to five tracks, her high and lonesome vocalastics to three, plays glockenspiel on one and contributes laughter on “Sonrisa”. The constellation of stars also includes Michael League, who fronts Snarky Puppy, the other important gig for Mr. Woloski; and there are stars like guitarist Eric Kurimski, harpist Maeve Gilchrist, trombonist Achilles Liarmakopoulos and pianist/accordionist Vitor Gonçalves, the Japanese wizard Keita Ogawa, who is not unlike Mr. Woloski in many ways, among a slew of other leading lights in today’s music. Throughout this album, one finds Mr. Woloski is far from beholden to tradition alone, as many musicians of an earlier generation would be.

Percussionist, Producer and Composer Marcelo Woloski
Percussionist, Producer and Composer Marcelo Woloski

On the contrary whip smart, unpredictable and open to crazy ideas – “Agua”, played on (among other instruments) a water jar as it is being filled and then some is an inspired example. Mr. Woloski it seems will stop at nothing to communicate with music. He plays more than twenty kinds of percussion instruments and it is not simply this battery of musical apparatuses that matters, but the texturally brilliant song that he gets out of them, especially when caresses with anything from the fingers of his hands to African brooms. Throughout Marcelo Woloski makes music that is sonically immaculate as he creates his euphonious tones artfully leavening his logical, but nonetheless oblique and unpredictable melodic thinking. To find just this in its most unfettered form, simply listen to “Maracatu” and you will be amazed at how the melody of Brasil can be inventively recreated in a frenzy of drums.

YouTube Video – In the LP Studio with Marcelo Wolowski

Track list – 1: Mundo Por Conocer; 2: Milonguita pa’la Griega; 3: Hace Tiempo; 4: Lejos; 5: Partida; 6: Paz; 7: Cachorinho de Susinha; 8: Agua; 9: El Otro; 10: Océano; 11: Maracatu; 12: Sonrisa

Personnel – Marcelo Woloski: percussion set-up: cajón, congas, timbau, snare drums, pandeiro, djembe, water jar, hadjira, udu drum, bombo legüero, whistle, claps, effects, reco-reco, agogô, rebolo, tamborim, triangle, angklung, African brooms, vocals, laughs; Magda Giannikou: accordion (2, 4, 6, 9, 10), vocals (1, 6, 12), glockenspiel (3), laughs (112); Andrés Rotmistrovsky: electric bass; Petros Klampinas: contrabass (2, 10); Eleonora Bianchini: lead vocals (1, 4, 9); Sofia Ribeiro: lead vocals (10), background vocals (1, 4, 12), and laughs; Juan Andrés Ospina: piano (2, 7), background vocals (3, 7, 12) and laughs; Sebastián Kauderer: piano (10); Jim Funnell: piano (9); Justin Stanton: Fender Rhodes and Hammond B3 organ (6, 12), Vitor Gonçalves: piano (1, 2), accordion (7); Michael League: baritone and acoustic guitars (3, 6, 12); Ricardo Vogt: nylon string guitar (6, 7); Eric Kurimski: nylon string guitar (4); Ignacio Hernández: Spanish guitar (2); Maeve Gilchrist: harp (4, 10); Keita Ogawa: snare drum, alfaia, agogô, claps and angklung (11); Nate Werth: snare drum, Colombian tambora, agogô (11); Hadar Noiberg: flute and piccolo flute (2, 7); Chris Bullock: tenor saxophone and bass clarinet (6, 10, 12); Matt McLaughlin: French horn (1, 6, 10, 12); Mike Maher: trumpet (1, 6, 10, 12) and flugelhorn; Achilles Liarmakopoulos: trombone (1, 6, 7, 10, 12); The String Section – Curtis Stewart: violin (solo on 2), Maria Im: violin, Dana Lyn: viola; Maria Jeffers: cello

Released – 2018
Label – Independent
Runtime – 35:24

Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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