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Kodjabashia, Nikola: The Most of Now

London based (by way of Macedonia) composer & musical director Nikola Kodjabashia has spent a great deal of his career writing for theater, film and television. Perhaps largely because of this, he hasn't actually released much of his own music on CD. His most recent effort The Most of Now is his second full length release for ReR and follow's up the highly acclaimed Reveries of The Solitary Walker which came out in 2004.

Combining elements of lounge, jazz, folk and traditional Balkan music Kodjabashia weaves an intriguing aural tapestry over the course of these seventeen tracks. Intended as one extended suite, it's not surprising that the music takes on a distinctly cinematic feel throughout. By sticking primarily to piano and percussion, with the odd discrete sample thrown in, Nikola delivers some absolutely beautiful and moving melodies on songs like "Lovesong" and "Aurora for Marsha and Anthony", while "Presto Pesto" comes off as a twisted little drums 'n bass composition as he works an ancient, analogue Korg synth underneath the dueling, frantic patterns between guest drummer Goce Stevkovski and violinist Gazmend Berisha. "La cama de Gaudi" is a fantastic ambient / orchestral piece of music that finds Nikola taking a bit of a backseat as he employs only a sparse sprinkling of carefully selected piano notes, allowing the full fledged string section to majestically open the sonic floodgates. The same full orchestral technique is applied to great effect as well on "To whom u belong now", which is probably the closest thing to resembling traditional jazz on this disc. Once again Nikola appears to take great care in selecting the bare minimum of notes on the piano, as some equally restrained guitar and delicate French horn round out the mix.

The Most of Now is a graceful and subtle piece of work which truly highlights Nikola Kobdjabashia's boundless talents as both a composer and musician. On the surface the music might be a little difficult to pin down categorically but I think that's the real appeal of this disc. I have to admit that this sort of music isn't something I would normally be exposed to, or would necessarily go looking for on my own. That being said, it's great when you're able to step slighlty outside of your listening comfort zone, and still the music is able to take you on a rewarding journey, which is exactly what The Most of Now did for me.

Track Listing
1) Coffee Theme
2) Cairo 2096
3) Coffee Refrain
4) Grandmothers of the Revolution
5) Lovesong
6) Brothers St. Cyril and St. Methodius
7) No idea 1
8) Amaro ma non troppo 1998
9) No idea 2
10) Aurora for Marsha and Anthony
11) Pesto presto
12) Aurora too
13) La cama de Gaudi
14) To whom u belong now
15) Again
16) Tango de Bond
17) and Again

Added: June 18th 2009
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Related Link: ReR USA
Hits: 1552
Language: english

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