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Posted December 31, 2012
Custodio Castelo ¿ IN VENTUS ¿ ARC Music The Portuguese guitar
Custodio Castelo – IN VENTUS – ARC MusicWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The Portuguese guitar is a pear-shaped instrument (roughly like a large mandocello or an Irish bouzouki) with 12 strings; its sound is unique, combining guitar and mandolin with elements of zither, lute and hammered dulcimer.
Commonly used to accompany singers of the Fado tradition (an indigenous urban Portuguese song form, comparable to French chanson), its acknowledged master is the great virtuoso, Custodio Castelo.
This recording features a dozen of Mr. Castelo’s original instrumental compositions accompanied by a variety of other instruments, ranging from the traditional cavaquinho (a 4 course predecessor of the ukulele) to programmed drum machines and often sharing the spotlight with the violin, clarinet, accordion and bowed upright bass. The band sounds like a jam session among virtuosi, with swelling dynamics and tempi that make the music feel continually surprising and spontaneous.
The music itself shows Latin and Moorish influences and frequently mixes traditional sounding elements and modern grooves (provided by drum machines and funk bass) within the same composition.
The result is never less than intriguing, moving from dream-like to danceable, with a unique beauty that’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.
Guitar players and fans of world music should consider this a must-have record; anyone else interested in something new and different should think seriously about giving “In Ventus” by Custodio Castelo a listen. Beautiful music, well recorded and lovingly performed by experts, this is a recording that’s extremely hard to stop listening to.
Highest possible recommendation – 10 out of 10 – O.O. Veterano