Known for their remarkable tonalities and bold lyrics, Romanian band Blazzaj has released a new album ‘Intoarcerea Omului Furnicar.’ It’s fair to say that Blazzaj is an adventurous band of forward-thinking composers and improvisers who have the right techniques to create music that, while aesthetically gratifying, is far from predictable.

The album consists of 14 tracks, which are true urban odes painted in screaming shades of Balkan surrealism. Basically, the record is a modern take on traditional nu-jazz, with lyrics both sung and spoken, all in Romanian, of course. The result is an audible balance between humor, joy, and sometimes sadness. Their creative styling relies on curious themes that breathe, clink, clank, and noodle together, sometimes in a low simmer, other times in a controlled state of trepidation.

For the casual and uninformed listener, ‘Intorcerea Omului Furnicar‘ is going to be a challenging ride. With a refreshing openness to new sounds and textures, these masters reveal an exquisite sense of narrative that makes this music distinctive. From the opening track, ‘Foarte bine,’ you will be plunged straight into Blazzaj’s utopian vision. They depict the urban universe as being governed by responsible individuals who are attentive to the needs of the population; some politicians with a high level of common sense and civic spirit.

The overall music is energetic and uplifting, kind of contrary to what you might expect from classical jazz. ‘Intoarcerea Omului Furnicar’ is a captivating listen from an ensemble clearly in tune with one another, and while sometimes it feels like there is no longer anything new under the avantgarde sun, no thread of composition or decomposition that remains unexplored, there’s still enough intrigue and complexity of texture in here to keep things decidedly interesting.

The tracks produced by Blazzaj are never frivolous; their message is always meaningful and incisive, supplying a well-balanced aesthetic construct with sufficient substance for the excellent cast of musicians to sink their teeth into. Upending the jazz world with such a multicultural vision that clearly goes beyond the conventional, Blazzaj is a musical force to be reckoned with.

Cover photo: (c) Trei Betivi Bar

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Still can't tell exactly my origins because of my suspiciously ‘Chinese eyes’.