In the Middle by Bawrut
Contemplative and joyful music that crosses borders and touches hearts
Bawrut's debut album is called In the Middle because that where the protagonist often finds himself, whether that's in the throes of political migration, his self-realised position in the world of music and culture or just where he was born (in the city of Gorizia that lies in the middle of Italy and Slovenia). While he identifies as Italian his eleven track album isn't so easy to pin down, taking in a myriad of exotic flavours, at once representing his own ongoing personal circumstances and interests while reflecting the rich and diverse cross-fertilisation of Eastern/African/European heritages so prevalent in the world of electronic music at the moment.
Enabling the rich cultural mix, four contributors lend Bawrut (aka Borut Viola) their voice with each delivering a catchy and singular song, all of which are excellent. Sequenced in balance, the other tracks are instrumental, with a range of spirits and flavours from flamenco claps and a Township Funk-inspired wonky bass melody (on de Amor de Dios a Candela) to reflective melancholy realised through an Art of Noise-style vocal-synth melody (11:11 AM) to emotive and uplifting (Crossing for a golden blanket).
Out of the Blue (a subtle reference to Kurt Vonnegut) is a mish-mash of samples and sounds, held together with a loose rhythm, that importantly brings respite at the right moment by breaking up the rush of heady Pop-tastic fare. The pace rises slowly thereafter with في السماء (Fe Samaa) (feat. Glitter٥٥) and Tisno memoriæ leading perfectly to the final two tracks (which happen to be my highlights). What a way to finish off.