Two musicians with great personality

January 20, 2014

Fortune or destiny. A few months ago Unzu unexpectedly
came across a cassette he had given up for lost, and decided to teach
Murugarren the songs again. They discovered that not only had they not become out
of date, but that they had improved with time; the songs sounded up to date and
so they decided to take up the project again. On this occasion, there was
nothing to stop them collaborating. Txuma wrote out the lyrics again -he hadn’t
kept a copy of the previous ones- and Unzu set about working on the
arrangements of the songs. For the recording they had the help of two members
of the instrumental jazz-rock trio Buffalo (the bass player Joanes Ederra and
drummer David Gorospe) and the pianist Rafa Aceves, who routinely features on
Murugarren’s discs.


This disc has provided both Murugarren and Unzu with
an opportunity for new experiences. This is the first time Murugarren sings numbers
composed by someone else, and at the same time, this work signifies Unzu’s
debut as a composer of pop-rock numbers. He says he has done it from a
perspective that is “somewhat naïve, the product of the game and need to make
music with a certain amount of cheek and nonchalance”. In some respects, the
result is different from Murugarren’s previous work, but neither does it
signify a radical break within his career. So the disc’s opening song, Bidaia
, acts as a musical bridge with Txuma’s previous work, B aldeko
(2010), which Ongi etorri could also belong to and in
which Murugarren once again speaks of “dark songs, fake lyrics, which no one
wants to listen to


In some of the lyrics it is possible to pick out the
shadow of the current crisis situation we are going through (Bihotza
unaturik, Lagun dohakabeak
), but above all there is room for hope (Fortunatu
bakoak, Gaueko zubiak
) and the chance to escape and start a new life
(significantly, the disc ends with Egun berrian), a regular number in
Txuma Murugarren’s song repertoire. By contrast, Joanak joan is a
generational song in which Murugarren addresses the friends of his youth who
are no longer with us -“recordarás el sonido de mi voz? Entenderás el gesto
que te hago?
” [Will you remember the sound of my voice. Will you understand
the gesture I am making?]- while in music terms it recalls the urgent guitar pop-rock
of Sasoi Ilunak.


But the songs belong to Unzu, and it’s easy to pick
out his touch, not only in his excellent technique with the guitar, but also in
the broad range covered by the arrangements and production of each song; they
range from the riff of Texan blues in Ongi etorri to the jazzy
atmosphere of Zaldi izutuak, including the 80s synthesisers of Lagun
, the sophistication of Gaueko zubiak, the acoustic
tenderness of Belar moztu berria or the Brazilian airs in Larruazal


14 abesti eta hamahiru istorio txiki is a work of genuine collaboration between two
artists of great personality; they have succeeded in merging their different
identities and artistic virtues on a disc that is coherent and special for both
of them.

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