17 September 2008

15th Century Ladino indie rock?


DeLeon - DeLeon
(JDub Records)

DeLeon - on SoundRoots.org
Everything old is new again, they say. But "15th Century Spanish indie rock"? That billing for Brooklyn-based band DeLeon is as accurate as it is odd. Singing in English and Ladino -- the traditional tongue of Sephardic Jews -- Daniel Saks and bandmates bring rock and pop influences to the mix and create of traditional folk tunes something familiar yet just exotic enough to make you perk up your ears like a puzzled pup. And before you know it, you're hearing niggun at the club and it all sounds normal. Why not?

From the band:
This particular brand of music is greatly informed by the Sephardic tradition, melding the rhythm of history with the urban chaos of the modern world. Sephardic, a term referring to a Jewish person that can trace their lineage back to the Iberian Peninsula, which includes modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar, takes on an entirely new context in frontman Dan Saks' hands. These beautifully crafted tunes are Saks' way of reviving the past; indeed, this record has helped him honor the legacy of his great-grandfather Giorgio DeLeon. Still, DeLeon's first album is a complex work, dually memorializing and celebrating these ancient memories and melodies.
[mp3] DeLeon: Serena
from the album DeLeon

Band website: ilovedeleon.com

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