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Josephine Foster and the Victor Herrero Band

Perlas

Fire Records

Anyone familiar with the previous work of Josephine Foster (not THAT one) knows that it can be pretty wild stuff, so I put on this platter with more than a little anticipation to get my noise fix. However, fuck my close-minded anticipation, Perlas is brimming over with timeless, reverential recastings of traditional Spanish music. You SEE pictures of Josephine and her collaborators in the Victor Herrera Band, you can even hop on the Internet or into a club and SEE them performing this music, but the sonic effect upon closing your eyes, listening to distant transmissions from a time-lost radio on a hot summer's evening? Gorgeous!

The basis of the material is, again, traditional Spanish folk music that has been cast to the fringes of Spanish society (post-Franco). No less than the likes of Lorca have done their best to rethread these delicate strands of sound back into Spanish culture over the years, and now Foster and Herrero give their all toward the same goal. Foster's almost operatic voice gives the lyrics an impossible dignity and melancholy, Herrero and co underplay like fucking champs, giving the cold shoulder to any modern tricks that would effectively neuter the witchy air they've conjured. Shades of flamenco, bossa nova, and torch music are filtered through, like clicks of the radio dial, but this is a remarkably heartfelt tribute to an unfairly forgotten music.

Fire Records: firerecords.com