Revolve - La Cherga
Revolver is far and away my favorite Beatles album. The precursor to Sgt. Peppers, it was the tipping point; a transcendent moment that revealed just how pioneering they could be as recording artists as it shed the innocence of their skiffle roots and Beatlemania boyhoods. Naturally, Revolve, the follow-up to Fake No More by Yugoslav ex-pats, La Cherga peaked my curiosity in title alone. Were there perhaps parallels between Revolve and Revolver? Definitely, if only in the album’s marking of a period of transition for these musical explorers. Additionally, like the fab four, La Cherga possess seemingly boundless creative spirit, even further broadening their sonic palette of Jamaican dub atmospheres, Balkan brass, jazz, drum ‘n bass and electronic, to embrace funk, soul, pop and heavy stuff. From there, the comparative breaks down. While the Beatles were a magical combination of four musical talents and personalities, the six-piece La Cherga are still solidifying personnel; finding their ideal voice, which the may just have done on Revolve. Gone is Irina Karamarkovic, a folk singer from Kosovo whose brave but gentle tone has been replaced with a powerful new voice from Bosnia, Adisa Zvekic. Her versatility is a great fit for a band that can incorporate so much influence into a single piece and change gears completely in the next. Revolve cycles through urban contortions as well, calling in sing-jay flows from MC Killo Killo and I-Razor. While Fake No More clearly emphasized how elements so seemingly disparate as Jamaican dub and Balkan brass can complement each other, it’s harder to filter out individual tells on Revolve, as the group inevitably coalesces into a sound that they will no doubt be able to call exclusively theirs for some time to come. Following the point in time demarked by the album’s almost title track, Revolve & Evolve, La Cherga let loose with just how far they’ve come between albums with a riff-laden slice of attitude simply called One. It’s a killer track as innovative and authoritative as any new music out there.