I had a chance to write about many ethno/world music artists, orchestras, and bands in the past, but no one came even remotely close to the ambiance emitted by the almighty Mimika Orchestra. Those familiar with the unlimited creativity of these highly experienced musicians already know what I am talking about. However, if you’re an ethno/world music admirer, and experiencing their ear-appealing music for the first time, prepare your listening apparatus for a comprehensive collection of beautiful ideas and tremendous orchestrations. I had this experience a couple of years ago when I had a chance to review Divinities Of The Earth And Water, their second full-length album on double vinyl, released by PDV Records. It seemed like Mimika Orchestra reached their peak with that release, but Altur Mur appeared in all its glory and shook the foundations of the ethno/world music scene.
Altur Mur consists of eight compositions that unquestionably delve deep into the Mediterranean / Balkan luxurious cultural heritage. You’ll immediately notice how Mimika Orchestra explores the roots of ethno music but also incorporates many modern approaches while writing, composing, and performing these numbers. It’s not like many other artists, orchestras, and bands haven’t tried these combinations before, but Mimika Orchestra does it with so much sense for harmony and balance. There’s a constant flow in their compositions that continuously guides you through this cathartic sonic journey, cleverly stacked with layers of calm, soothing, relaxing, but musically challenging orchestrations. Altur Mur is a complex material based upon layers of flawlessly performed vocal harmonies, brass, wind, string, and percussive instruments. You’ll spend hours or maybe even days until you grasp everything Mak Murtić and the remainder of the Mimika Orchestra invested into this phenomenal album. Each member of this mesmerizing sonic troupe provides a top-notch performance that could easily pair with many renowned international names.
Perhaps Altur Mur almost solely relies upon the fundamentals of ethno and world music, but Mimika Orchestra explores many music genres along the way. There’s a strong presence of classic and contemporary jazz, soul, free-improv, and avant-garde, so Altur Mur has so many to offer, even to those listeners who’re not looking for a cathartic ethno/world music experience. With all these complementary styles, this material levitates between energetic, cheerful, danceable melodies, harmonies, and rhythms over more calmy ambiances to some dark, eerie, psychedelic depths of the mentioned genres. It’s mindblowing how Altur Mur goes from absolutely focused orchestrations decorated with divine vocal harmonies to more abstract improvisations where all the instruments harmoniously collide for dominance. Anyone even remotely into writing and composing music knows that’s a difficult task to achieve, so Mak Murtić and Mimika Orchestra ultimately nailed it with Altur Mur. The album is available on double vinyl via Rika Muzika and Menart. Don’t miss this gem!
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