Over the past decade, the New Mexican duo of Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost, aka A Hawk & A Hacksaw, have taken a fascinating journey through the music of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Turkey and beyond. They also have a long-standing connection with cinema: Their first release was the soundtrack to a documentary about Slovenian thinker Slavoj Žižek. This album, their sixth, is loosely based on a score written to accompany Sergei Parajanov’s 1965 documentary film Shadows Of Forgotten Ancestors, about the Slavic Hutsul people in the Carpathian mountains that run through Central and Easter Europe. Clearly, there’s magic in those hills, and it’s richly mined here, as the pair put some fierce twists on the music of the Ukraine, Hungary and Romania. There’s an otherworldly atmosphere to “Where No Horse Neighs, And No Crow Flies,” where high tumbling notes give way to a sinister drone and rattling bells. On “Ivan And Marichka/The Sorcerer,” the drama is even more pronounced: It starts as a cheerful, skittish fiddle piece before becoming a terrifying tumult of drums and noise. The title track features more echoing, rattling rhythms and a gripping finale — it’s as if Liars had been transported via time-machine to an ancient pagan ritual on some dark mountainside. A Hawk & A Hacksaw’s music is a fusion of folk music styles that feels unforced, thoughtful and celebratory, and You Have Already Gone To The Other World is their finest work yet.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 12.11.14 in Features
Five music critics discuss the best, worst, and most significant moments in Latin music this year.
By Michaelangelo Matos on 12.08.14 in Reviews
For all the quality mining of African oldies over three and a half decades, it's not as if the coffers have been exhausted. Far from it, especially judging from this nonstop display of one of the great bands of the Congo...
By Claire Lobenfeld on 11.29.14 in News
Spice, Jamaica's queen of dancehall, is gearing up to release her debut EP So Mi Like It. With her contribution to Vybz Kartel's "Rampin Shop," another bananas collab between the two called "Conjugal Visit" and her most...
By John Schaefer on 11.24.14 in Reviews
In this 50th-anniversary romp through Terry Riley's In C, a brilliant ensemble of Malian musicians (mostly playing traditional instruments) joins forces with Damon Albarn, the globetrotting frontman of Blur and Gorillaz;...