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img  Tobias

We have a good advice piece advice for you if you're planning to go to the Netherlands this weekend: Don't! I was caught in a twelve hour train chaos, which lead me (and a few thousand other passangers) on a cold and snow-filled journey from one corner of the country to another, while car drivers were treated to more traffic jams than had ever been recorded in Dutch history. Much better head off to sunny Spain, whence we have just been informed about an excellent musical project that has escaped our attention for the last five years: Malaventura is now the new home for inventive Jazz 'n Electronics.

This despite the fact that the name actually means "Misfortune" - a reference to the band's history, which started as "Buenaventura" (Good fortune, as you might have guessed), mashing up electro, flamenco and a bunch of other musical styles. Notwithstanding a lot of good intentions, talent and ambition, their eclecticism never really caught on and members went their seperate ways again. One of them, however, didn't feel like giving up so easily. Hiding behind the "Malaventura" banner, he continued his search for new forms of expression, always keeping cool jazz and smooth latin american grooves in mind and allowing them to fuse with floating ambiances and intricate piano. In 2003, there was enough music for a first "state of the union", a sampler collecting the best from three years of experimentation and finding his own voice, which was followed up by a second volume this year. By this time, his personal homepage had developed into a fully grown portal for open-minded music lovers and all those who liked both the relaxed nature and pureness of jazz and the hypnoticism of well-programmed electronics. Besides the two discs we mentioned (and which are sold for the rediculously low price of 5 Euros), it now offers two dense and delicate EPs (collaborations with film music composer Alejandro Ventura, aimed at finding "magic and mystery") and videos (including an accompaniment to Murnau's silent masterpiece "Sunrise").

There's nothing intellectual about it all (which is a relief, really), but this is much more than your average slick chill out compilation. It's diverse, it's stimulating and inspiring and yet it works fine as a background soundtrack to red whine-infused coversations about philosophy, love and literature. And there's a great way of getting to now these tunes: The two EPs come entirely free of charge and are available for convenient downloading (even though you have to register to be able to do so). If you should decide to drive down to Amsterdam to buy some cheese after all, don't forget to take a few tracks of these Spanish rays of light with you!

Homepage: Malaventura

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