Sunday, May 24, 2015

L'Ham de Foc - U (Spain 1999) @320

The band L'Ham de Foc was formed by Efrén López and Mara Aranda in 1998. After composing their first material they were invited by the INJUVE (Institute for Spanish Youth Culture) to participate in the yearly tour through various Spanish cities. The live setup required more musicians so L'Ham de Foc was founded after the band grew up to 7 members.

Shortly after that, the musicians got in contact with the independent label Sonifolk and in August of 1999 the first CD “U” (Sonifolk, 20137) was released. With the help of the new album, the band participated in several important Spanish world music and folk festivals. 

After a long tour throughout Spain Efrén López and Mara Aranda continued their musical investigation and moved to Greece for 6 months in order to learn more about traditional Greek music and to meet important musicians. The knowledge obtained during this trip was used in their second album, Cançó de Dona i Home (Sonifolk, 2002).

L'Ham de Foc was one of the leading groups of a new folk movement in Spain, that worked the traditional roots into a new, modern music concept. But L'Ham de Foc's work was not just a superficial look at its roots. The musicians' intention was to go back to where things originally came from, to learn how to play instruments, techniques and performances from first hand. Mediterranean folk music, including their own Valencian music; Greek music; and also music from India or Northern Africa; were main influences for L'Ham de Foc. This mixture was responsible for a widespread acceptance of their music.

Valencia's ancient history played a very important role in the band's music. Throughout the history of the southeastern Spanish coast, different cultures settled down, imposing their cultural roots. Thanks to its harbors, southeastern Spain was an important location for trading and the result was a permanent cultural exchange. Musically spoken, three different zones had the strongest influence: the Arabic countries in the south; the tradition from the Spanish region of Catalonia, France and Italy, denominated as the European zone; the central zone that is identified by a fusion of the north and the south. Hereto belong countries and regions like Greece, Andalusia, Yugoslavia, Albania, the Balearic Islands, Malta, Crete, Valencia, etc. These cultures are characterized by melismatic melodies, polyrhythms, double stringed instruments, wind instruments, quarter tone harmonies, and by the presence of the Arabic culture throughout 700 years.

01 - El Nord
02 - Lluna d'algeps
03 - Al matí
04 - Veritat
05 - Cançó de bressol
06 - D'un joc de flors
07 - Nikita i Estelís
08 - Els camins
09 - La lluna no vol
10 - Rodamons
11 - Si
12 - Dels amors del dimoni
13 - Tocs occitans
14 - La fe

Efrén López: Ud, Zanfona, Dulcimer, Bouzouki, Saz, Lauto, Trompa Marina, Gümbüs and Archilaúd.
Mara Aranda: Tampura, Percussion, Classical Guitar, Vocals.
Pep Ahuir: Baglama [Saz], Bouzouki, Acoustic Guitar, Classical Guitar. 
Diego López: Darbuka, Rig, Didjeridu, Bendir, Snare Drum, Cántaro and Tabla
Eduardo Navarro: Dulzaina Gralla, Tarota, Baguet, Galician Bagpipe, Bulgarian Bagpipe, Chirimía, Crumhorn, Flute, Violin and Mandolin.
Paco Bernal: Bendir, Crótalos, Snare Drum, Cajón and Cántaro.


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