Arribada - Tambura Rasa
Arribada is the name given to the natural phenomenon of mass nestings of sea turtles on the beaches of the Ostional Wildlife Preserve in Costa Rica. Only two species synchronize their nestings in these en-mass emergences. Tambura Rasa founder, frontman, composer and arranger, Ivan Tucakov chose Arribada for the name of the band's newly released 6th studio album. The idea of returning to the beginning resonated with the collection's focus on the music of the Balkans, specifically Serbia where he was born and Turkey where he spent his early years. That said, the Vancouver-based globalistas' fascination with flamenco to the west and Indian classical to the east frame their sweetest sounding offering to date. Arribada literally is the Spanish word for 'arrival' and with this release, Tambura Rasa have arrived at a new plateau of sophisticated execution and sonic excellence. Building on their penchant for padding out recent live performances with a host of guests; from the Black Dog String Quartet, to Cuban-Canadian trumpeter Miguelito Valdez (who adds a brassy splash to the distinctly Latin track, 'En la Vida'), Tambura Rasa has grown beyond the ensemble, becoming a kind of mini global orchestra. Take that communal dedication and exacting talent into the studio and, like the sea turtles, Arribada emerges as a massive spectacle. Ivan's reminiscences of his past are reflected on tracks like 'Turk Kahvesi' and 'Ay Haiku'. He even plays the tamboritza, the Balkan cousin of the Russian balalaika and Italian mandolin that gave name to the band in the first place. But, to talk about Arribada without mentioning the opening rendition of Floyd's 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' is to ignore the elephant in the room. And, a massive beast it is in all its 14 minutes of glory! "I've always marveled at this song", Ivan explains. "It's probably the largest production I've ever taken on. It took months to arrange. But, I wanted to reimagine it and make it ours as well, so I transcribed it from 6/8 time to 7/8." The syncopated time signature gives a little added kick to the bluesy lope of the classic, while the crescendos and punctuations are lovingly recreated, sparing no detail, only this time, with a global, acoustic arrangement. Neelamjit Dhillon's well-placed tabla shots add further depth and mystery to Arribada's crowning glory. Overall, it's the record we've always been longing to hear from Vancouver's premiere global music fusionists.