Just when you expect the MoonJune label to extol the End Of Days with an apocalyptic pariah disc of clangorous doom-mongering and mindbending distorto-fusion, it instead issues a disc of exquisite beauty and melancholy reflection, Films, by Sasha Markovic operating under the nom de plume of 'Yagull'. When the disc first opened, I was strongly minded of a deeply laconic Jack Bruce composition…not any particular song of the gent's, just that achingly angelic tone Jack always manages to embody. Then, as the cut got more into its own depths, John Cale came to mind. Ah, but then I snagged a listen to Pulse and the long-forgotten refrains of Atoll floated in from the Pacific.
Actually, Markovic blends chamber classicalism with ECM mellifluity with the gentler prog strains of bygone days (Flairck, early Focus, Third Ear Band and Popul Vuh in reflective postures, Gandalf and J.P. Boffo on an overcast day, etc.) and then, those qualities firmly in place, the sensitivities of an Egberto Gismonti or a mellifluous Morricone. Certainly, the dominant sense is Andalusian, and I'm willing to bet Alan Shacklock (Babe Ruth) will shed a wistful tear upon hearing what Sasha's done with the baseline both expressed a pronounced affinity for.
Speaking of Jack Bruce, Yagull turns the Bruce / Brown / Cream White Room inside out in a flute-driven (Lori Reddy) version that rescues all those 60s/70s pop-jazz versions back into sanity and confluence. In fact, though Markovic tackles the mainstay instrumental chores (there are practically no vocals) by way of not only guitar but also bass, percussion, and keyboards, he brings in, besides Reddy on four cuts, Sonia Choi (cello), Eylon Tushner (sax) and Josh Margolis (drums, keys) for various tracks, all of them perfectly at one with Yagull's characteristics. Then, right after that, and I could not believe this, Black Sabbath's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath hops on board for a reading it's never previously enjoyed…though Iommi indicated such things in Volume 4. Think of the take as something Apocalyptica hasn't quite envisioned yet.
You never know what to expect next with MoonJune but sure as hell look forward to whatever comes next each time out. This one took me completely by surprise, and, by the time it was done, a thought came straight out of the blue: what would Markovic sound like, especially given the title to this CD, when teamed with Wim Wenders for a soundtrack?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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