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Sedmina - Melita & Veno Dolenc CD (album) cover

MELITA & VENO DOLENC

Sedmina

 

Prog Folk

3.02 | 11 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars This is the first of two releases by the Slovenian husband-wife team of Veno Dolenc and Melita Osojnik, who formed Sedmina in the former Yugoslavia in 1977. The group disbanded sometime in the 1980s when the couple divorced, although Veno Dolenc would reform under the name Sedmina in the late 1980s with his second wife Klarisa Jovanovic. Melita would go on to an expansive career as a multicultural performer of mideastern and Mediterranean-flavored folk.

This first album is the more primitive of the two by the original couple, featuring exclusively acoustic instruments and fairly innocuous folk vocal harmonies. That said the two of them sound great together, although I have heard stronger make vocalists from this region. Ms. Osojnik is pretty much perfect though, accenting her husband well and maintaining a pleasantly-toned harmony on pretty much every track.

The instrumentation here is rich world folk fare: acoustic gruitar and the weird humming/flapping of the tamboura; violin and viola from guest musician Bozidar Ogorevc; and flute, recorder, clarinet (and understated but persistent piano) from jazz artist Lado Jaksa.

I’m not even sure what language this is, so the meaning of the lyrics for sure escapes me. But words aren’t as important in world folk music as they are in the kind of folk you listen to from your own region. The real treat in music like this is to be able to experience different instrumental sounds, unusual rhythms and tempos (at least compared to what you’re used to), and sometimes even a treat with outstanding vocals singing words whose meaning is superfluous to the enjoyment of hearing them.

Well here the vocals could be a bit stronger, but all those other things are present in spades. The tamboura is an odd instrument that typically gives a piece of music an eastern lilt to it, and that’s the case here as well, particularly on “Angel Varuh” and “Ljubica”, the latter which also has what are probably the most well-formed vocals on the album. There are other odd and unattributed sounds as well, such as the Jew’s harp on “Angel varuh”, and what sounds like a theremin humming throughout “Veter beli konj”. Clarinet and viola are also not your typical instruments, even for a folk band, and their presence combines with the flute and recorder to project a very earthy tone to most of the tracks.

There’s a few songs here that seem to be traditional reinterpretations, most notably the danceable “Svatba” and the ballad ”Ogledalo”.

Finally, the album closes with what sounds like a love song with personal meaning for the two people singing it. Very slow, lots of mellow strings, and a nice, quiet close to the album.

These guys are a bit obscure, but not hard to find. Mellotron Records reissued this and the band’s second CD a few years ago, and the later releases with the second incarnation of the band were also released on CD. I’ve really taken a liking to these guys lately for their ethnic authenticity and lovely string/woodwind instrumentation especially. This is not their best work, but it’s in the top three. Highly recommended to prog folk and world music fans. Four stars.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |

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