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Diaspora Hi-Fi a Mediterranean Caravan

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Album Review

When they use the subtitle "A Mediterranean Caravan," they're not kidding. Drawing from everywhere around the Inner Sea — often in the same piece — it's a travelogue with a modern twist that's as happy on the dancefloor as while wandering a dusty desert. They set out their stall early on, switching from pumping beats to oud on the opener, "Les Hommes Libres," while the more traditional "Goumari" pulls heavily from Algerian roots, with plenty of programming for good effect. There's plenty to admire here — it's a very detailed tapestry — but it's hard to feel an emotional connection with the music Watcha Clan make. It's too dense, with no room to breathe, full-on from start to finish. They move around easily, with songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, and Arabic, which covers most of the Mediterranean possibilities, and they travel even farther afield for "Balkan Qoulou," which builds into a belter of a cut, powered by violin. Make no mistake, it's good, and there's plenty of invention, with seamless integration of real instruments, beats, and programming, but it's so busy that eventually it can seem a little overwhelming. If they can learn a little restraint, they'll be fantastic


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

Watcha Clan are a French quartet that fuses together influences as diverse as its members' heritages. Drawing on North African, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew, French, and modern electronic musical styles for inspiration, the Clan claim a nomadic ethic, calling no single style "home." Since their inception at the turn of the century, Watcha Clan's touring schedule and lifestyle have been as nomadic as their philosophy. Group members Matt (bass), Soupa Ju (electronic elements), Sista K (vocals), and Suprême...
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