Condon remains a precocious talent on this split release. I expected each CD to be complete albums, but the split has not been approved for length reasons, rather style differences. Weighing it at no more than 40 minutes for the two releases strongly indicate that these are pills to be taken simultaneously, despite their differences.
`March Of The Zapotec' continues the Mexican death-march stylings, plodding brass and all, and it refrains from such heavy harpsichord-embracing as heard on The Flying Club Cup
and again weaves a little gypsy square-dance into the rich tapestry. So far, so Beirut. Whilst it would be hard to argue that `March ...' is as exciting as Gulag Orkestar
, it is still a very listenable collection.
`Holland' showcases Condon's latent talent being a composed collection of bedroom electronica recorded under his early-teen moniker of Realpeople. The sound is as warm as elsewhere and his voice so welcome a spanning of the material that it ties the two halves together seamlessly, as does the slight legacy of harpsichord!
I have read someone wittier than I describe `Holland' as the most foreign of Beirut's current repertoire, which is peculiar for an American called Beirut and equally influenced by Mexican brass, French harpsichord and Balkan dance. However, I do see his point, the electronica is complimentary without argument, completely unobtrusive, but it feels less special and that disappointment felt is foreign to Condon's work to date.