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March of the Zapotec Import


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Product details

  • Audio CD (17 Feb. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Pompeii
  • ASIN: B001PJRBHU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,271 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who has had the (dubious) opportunity to know me even just a
little will understand that I have always been a sucker for a maverick.

Zack Condon is just such a creature and like him I
have always harboured a love for small town bands.

The Salvation Army brass octet shivering in a cold Canterbury
shopping precinct at christmas; the group of minstrels playing
ancient instruments at a festival in the idyllic village of
St Felix-de-Caraman (with the ghosts of a thousand Cathars
listening in the wings); the town band of Cortina d'Ampezzo
in the Dolomites, who every summer Sunday night are, weather
permitting, as adept at playing a brazen Alpine oompah song
as they are Gioachino Rossini's William Tell overture.

Mr Condon's love affair with the bands he discovered in Oaxaca,
Mexico are clear evidence of a kindred spirit.

In his sojourn(s) there he has lovingly and enthusiastically
absorbed a culture and it's music as well as having been
absorbed by it. It is a strange but perfect love affair.

The two discs contained in this release display a passionate
and wayward imagination.

Disc one, 'March Of The Zapotec', coming in at around an
economical sixteen minutes, is an exuberant sonic tapestry
and memory of his Mexican experiences.

Opening with an unknown band's raucous performance of a piece
entitled 'El Zocalo' (a town square), the six tracks set out
before us here are both an assimilation of and a tribute to
the art of public social performance.
Aided occasionally by the prodigiously gifted Band Jiminez,
Mr Condon's haunting voice and multi-instrumental skills are
richly evocative of his muse.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By muz on 28 Feb. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some reviewers have suggested that the juxtaposition of the very "Beiriuty" Zapotec EP with the bedroom electronica of the Holland release doesn't work. I have to disagree: both are recognisably the work of the insanely talented Zach Condon and whilst I thought they might jar when played one after the other (which is presumably why we're given them as two separate CDs) they actually complement each other rather well. If you liked the previous Beirut releases then I see no reason why you wouldn't take this to your heart just the same.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gannon on 4 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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.
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Jun. 2009
Format: Audio CD
For the record, "March of the Zapotec/Holland" is not an album. It's two EPs.

For that matter, it's not really Beirut as you know it -- apparently Zach Condon has been going to Mexico and diddling around with some electronic instrumentation. Not many artists could smoosh together Eastern European rhythms with Latin instrumentation, and then top it off with a dash of the Postal Service. But fortunately Condon pulls it off.

Apparently "March of the Zapotec" was influenced by a recent trip to Oaxaca, and as a result the gypsyish flavour of the music is tinged with some Latin colour. After the styles clash in the opening "Zocalo," Condon's band sways into the languid brassy "La Llorona," and the gloriously Spanish-flavoured "My Wife."

After that, it's into the melancholy trumpets and dancy grandeur of "The Akara" ("So long to these kite strings/so long since I've been saved... tasting more, wasting more..."), and the twisting meandering "On A Bayonet," which sounds like an excuse to exercise the horns. And the first part finishes with "The Shrew," a more sprightly little tune that wouldn't sound out of place on a Decemberists album.

But wait, there's more!

On the other hand, "Holland" is done under Condon's pseudonym "Realpeople," and it's pretty obvious why -- he's going into Postal Service territory. "My Night With the Prostitute from Marseille" is a sparkling peppy little electronic number, but it manages to retain the warmth of Condon's other work. That electronic vein runs through the rest of the album -- darting trip-hop waves over soaring vocals, a couple gypsyish melodies tied up in thin threads of electronica. Only "No Dice" goes too far with the electronic thing, sacrificing melody for the funky techno explorations.
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