The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hillier

Merid­ian 68 Da­gaDana Kar­rot Kom­mando It might well con­sti­tute cliche, but any­one dis­put­ing the sim­ile that says the 21st-cen­tury mu­sic scene is like a global vil­lage should check out Da­gaDana’s Merid­ian 68. The fact that the ti­tle of the fourth album from a pop­u­lar east Euro­pean band that’s an amal­gam of Pol­ish and Ukrainian mu­sic and mu­si­cians al­ludes to an ex­change with a col­lec­tive in China speaks vol­umes about the cross-cul­tural col­lab­o­rat­ing that’s de rigueur.

The 68th merid­ian hap­pens to be ex­actly mid­way be­tween the places where the songs were recorded — the south­ern Pol­ish city of Czesto­chowa and Beijing. For al­most a decade Da­gaDana has suc­cess­fully meshed Slavic cul­ture through the prism of pop, rock, pyschedelia, jazz, clas­si­cal, elec­tron­ica and world mu­sic.

In its lat­est album the en­sem­ble com­bines tra­di­tional songs from dif­fer­ent re­gions of Poland with Ukrainian and Lemko folk mu­sic. The stand­out track was recorded in Beijing with a Mon­go­lian band dur­ing a 2012 tour. Their com­bined in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Sichuan stan­dard Kangding Love Song, a song that rep­re­sented China on a NASA probe in search of ex­trater­res­trial life, is suit­ably sym­bolic and sym­bi­otic — and ap­pro­pri­ately off-the-planet, with jazz-rock dy­nam­ics along­side pop hooks and pretty vo­cals.

Else­where, the singing of Daga Gre­gorow­icz and Dana Vyn­nyt­ska is fil­tered through voice pro­ces­sors and com­bined with syn­the­sised in­stru­ments, trance-like bass, driv­ing drums and even chil­dren’s toys, to hit the lis­tener with bold and imag­i­na­tive sound­scapes.

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