Cleves & Parissa Bouas – Out Of Australia – Stockfisch
Musical travelogue is distinguished by stunning vocals and unique
Carl Cleves & Parissa Bouas – Out Of Australia –
Stockfisch Records Multichannel SACD SFR 357-4060-2, 49:50
Bouas – vocals, guitar, shruti box, percussion, cachichi;
Carl Cleves – vocals, guitar; Lea Morris – backing
vocals; Peter Funk – dobro, guitar; Dominik Jung –
guitar; Lucile Chaubard – violoncello; Christian Struck
– cor anglais; Beo Brockhausen – tambura, jew’s
harp, swarmandal, mbira, hulusi; Lars Hansen – fretless
bass, electric bass, upright bass.
born singer/songwriter Carl Cleves and Greek-Australian vocalist
Parissa Bouas have captured the hearts of folk enthusiasts in
Australia. They are celebrated for their unique acuity for global
storytelling, reflected in relevant social and political narratives.
Together since 1991, as members of the Cleves-formed band, The
Hottentots, the duo continue to perform and record together. In
the tradition of authentic folk music, they travel extensively,
integrating different cultures and auditory influences into original
compositions. Cleves, who holds degrees in Law, African Music
and Contemporary Composition, inhabits the aura of an international
beat poet. Influenced by a collage of inspirational artists like
Bob Marley, Abdullah Ibrahim, Arthur Rimbaud, Townes Van Zandt,
and Kurt Weill, passion and conscience become recurrent contexts.
Of Australia, consisting of twelve original songs, is a ruminating
perspective on worldwide society. Coalesced by folk-based guitar
constructs and emotional vocals, each track has a unique feel.
A centerpiece, “The Bethlehem Bell Ringer” examines
the plight of innocent victims in the Palestinian struggle. Parissa
Bousa’s incandescent voice is heartfelt, and the hymnal
chorus, no less than exultant. The use of a tambura (string drone
instrument) adds a somber Middle Eastern tone. The plights of
diamond mine workers (“Way Down In The Mines”) in
Johannesburg, and ethnic genocide (The Coniston Massacre”),
are recounted without overindulgence. Framed by the steady guitar
of Cleves, and his idiosyncratic baritone (not unlike Scottish
troubadour Donovan), there is a consistent lyrical aesthetic.
all of the serious minded themes find a proper elucidation. “Graceful”
attempts to juxtapose a breezy tenor and HIV reference, with incongruous
African spirit is rendered with joyous abandon on the folk chant
“Mother’s Song”. Backup singer Lea Morris blends
with Bouas in perfect harmony. “Sharpening A Knife”,
an adaptation of a poem by Nanao Sakaki has a Gaelic cadence,
with chorus repetition and a soaring lead vocal. In addition to
the milieu of international social mores and politics, there is
a sensitive coloration by various Middle Eastern and African instruments.
nomadic anthology captures the pathos of the human condition with
originality and verve.
Multichannel SACD is an ideal medium for this music. The understated
nuances of the various stringed instruments are reproduced with
clear acoustics, whether it’s a prominent rhythm guitar,
or delicate lute. Tonal quality of the voices is flawless. The
depth and texture of the vocals (in particular the ensembles)
refine the musical eminence.
Into The Light; Eclipse Of The Sun; Don’t Flowers Grow;
Way Down In The Mines; House Of Sorrow; Mother’s Song; The
Coniston Massacre; Graceful; Zeco; Sharpening A Knife; Carmen.
Audition Published on September 24, 2010 Robbie Gerson
OF AUSTRALIA' CD
Stockfisch Records - 2010
This is a very nice folk record that has a classic UK style sound,
yet is about as international as you can find. The excellent German
label has released this record from an Australia-based duo comprised
of a Belgian guitarist who has travelled the world with a female
singer who was born of a Greek sailor and has toured through Latin
only do they cull all these influences together, they are able
to focus this into their sound, rather than issue out a haphazard
cultural stew. “Way Down in the Mines” could be snuck
onto a compilation with Raven & Mills, Pererin, and the Watersons.
lyrics are strong and the music is constantly involving, with
some intriguing bass playing and sounds. This is a gem and moves
to the top of my listening pile. If you enjoy classic folk duos
and like the psychedelic influences on folk from the seventies,
then you are certain to enjoy this.
of specific Hottentot albums are available from the discography
music can best be described as cross-cultural ... The under current
of their songs points to the political situations in the world
... The upper current is poetic and is testimony to a rich imagination
and a constantly renewed vitality."
Jacobs, Gazet van Antwerpen, Belgium
once in a while a CD comes along which really does blend global
cultures in an exciting, original way. Amongst the poly-rhythmic
exuberance there is some real sensitivity as well, and lots of
great playing and singing. Highly recommended."
West Radio, Perth
you've seen Carl and Parissa live you will have a good idea what
to expect: warmth, generosity, humour and fantastic musicianship.
Parissa's outstanding vocals alternate between a tone that would
cut glass, and breathy seduction, while Carl sings with a warmth,
honesty and a healthy dose of cheekiness.
State of the art in contemporary Australian
Rigby - The Cornstalk Gazette, Sydney
sheer variety of musical cultures from which the Hottentot Party
draw their influences makes for an exhilarating listen, but their
music is also unfashionably light and bright, the antithesis of
the angst-ridden world of contemporary rock and pop."
Smith, Drum Media, Sydney