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Kin Za Za


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Ethereal, with a smattering of Celtic folk and pop

Status:

Most recent release, number one in shambala (2001)

See also:

Kin Za Za site

Comparisons:

Mandalay, Clannad, Enya

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

See album comments below

Recommended first album:

number one in shambala is their debut

Recordings:

number one in shambala (2001)

number one in shambala

Release info:

2001—Sense Records—kzz 001

Availability:

See website for availability

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of ethereal music

Group members:

Dimitri Soukonnov ("Dimi")—lyrics and all non-vocal dimensions (guitars, piano, synthesizers, loop construction, bass)
Jozy Fever ("Jozeyeland")—vocal lines

Guest artists:

Blair Lofgren—cello
Oleska Lozowchuk—organ, harmonium, accordion, keyboards
Nicolas Boulerice—vielle à roue
Anna Yerno—flamenco steps

Produced by:

Dimitri Soukonnov

Comments:

There's a chain of stores that are in many upscale malls called Fire and Ice. They specialize in beautiful baubles made out of minerals: topaz, fool's gold, amethyst, amber and malachite. The things they sell, like chess sets, or Egyptian deities, are exquisitely made, but you wonder exactly where you'd put them. The store also has a vague New Age affectation, as if it has to justify itself. Kin Za Za's debut CD reminds me of Fire and Ice. The music they make is exquisite, well-crafted New Age pop; imagine Enya vectored in the direction of Mandalay. Dimitri Soukonnov crafts intricate tapestries of electronic and acoustics, often augmented by cellos, the harmonium, accordion and violins. It's beautiful, and shimmering, and smooth; the melodies add enough left turns to keep it from being too predictable. Jozy Fever has a gorgeous voice, classically-trained and pure—at times, it recalls Loreena McKennitt or Louisa John-Krol.
     But there is a lack of idiosyncrasy that stops the recording from over-the-top wonderful. It's very pretty, with images of rivers, blackbirds and mystical mirrors in the lyrics, but no real startling images. In fact, all of the idiosyncrasy is steered towards marketing. Both Dimitri and Jozyland (as she likes to be called) are photogenic. She appears in a medieval Stevie Nicks-like dress on the cover, while he looks like Dr. Van Helsing in a black cape and top hot. A vague, ill-defined New Age sentiment pervades the packaging. As with Fire and Ice, the spiritual is contrived and tacked on. It's a little distracting. I wish that they channeled some of this energy in creating a more distinctive style. As it is, they are good, not-yet-great purveyors of the New Age pop style. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)


Thanks to Craig Gidney for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2008-07-25 16:41:22.
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