The in Catalonia based group Möondo exists since 2000 and was meant to be an experimental forum open to musicians of all styles, with cooperation by guest musicians but also from other disciplines, for stage performances, like dance and video performances. On their first album the group very much takes over the role of a trance world fusion DJ, with that huge difference they don’t work with samples and records, but play everything themselves, which is a big range of music styles for just one group. There are also some small improvised parts in world music styles as well as jazzfusion rock, and beyond. I could clearly take out elements of trance-world music with smooth rhythmical trance-moods, funky guitars, sitar-trance with tabla and electronic beats, Sufi & Arab singing, small oud and saz tunes improvisations, overtone singing, complex electronic beats, Hindustani singing (devotional and classical), with an Indian part with harmonium too, jazzy Rhodes, an electronic music improvisation, and much more. And “World Wide Funk” brings you from lounge to jazz.
Möondo during their debut was Aniol Casadevall : percussion, Dani Ibanez : sitar, saz, oud, electric guitar and programmed electronica, Jordi Parés: harmonium, bansuri, keyboards, Manel Vega : electric bass and double bass, Marc Vila : drums and percussion, ambience with guests for single tracks : Francesc Sotillos on drums, Hisham : violin, percussions, DJ Soyez : scratching, Sua Dalmau : voice, Jaume Catà : drums.
As a bonus track a few interactive videos were supposed to be seen (the same ones as on their website), but the links to them didn’t work. Therefore I browsed into the CD to see them separately. The most interesting of them, called “Eshan”, with water flowing and a dancer with that water projected on it (images for a Turkish ? song) halted in the middle of the song, and after some time it even stops playing. Also on internet the file has the same errors. The recording quality of all 4 files is rather bad. The first one is suitable to project on screens on stage, but not much more than this, the other videos have too hard contrasts of random images and evil in the world, which I think has no purpose in seeing them mixed together like this, with amateurish vision. A shame, but it is a lost addition for the CD.
Ventilador MusicMöondo : Trampa (SP,2005)****
On the second album they bring in even more World music ideas, like on the intro, “Tact’in Tro” which features African percussion and bass. Also new is the beautiful voice of singer Silvia Perez. The first track I heard from the group was with her singing on it, mixed with oud, electronica, percussion and so on (“Nieve & Fuego”), a track which made me wonder how much this band was not a side-project or related to their friends Amarok, because this sounded like a great original world folk-rock with certain progressive ideas to it. The music on this album, even when participating with a DJ who brings in mostly only small effects, sounds more developed and one step further than with the trance-fusion association and foundation, and now has a more “rock” drive, which I think is absolutely successful. This way, the music sounds also more driven, direct, and played, more like a real adventure. A single trance/jungle dominated track, “Elixir Davida”, occurs at a moment that the music could use this peaceful moment of return, but also this track evolves into something more modern, and another special mix. “Trampa”, before this, is built from middle eastern elements and Persian ? percussion, mixed with bits of DJ mixed in voices, keyboards and improvisations from Silvia Perez, a performance like a belly dance mixed with Indian elements, and was also already slightly trance-associated. “Solo contra” is a new peaceful part of jazzy bass solo with some eliptical piano, continues in a fusion mix on “Sheilala”, a track which consists of Indian and middle eastern styles, jazzy rocking, with extra touches of trance sounds added to it, without the effect being dominant. “Xançoneta” has some sitar-pop/rock in it. The last and longest track is a modern dance mix where electronic beats are adapted with lounge, rock, and a few Middle Eastern tunes as well. Hidden behind this is a small singing saw improvisation with double bass.
This release had Dani Ibanez on guitar, baglama, oud, sitar, voice, programmed electronica, Jordi Parés: keyboards, bansuri, didgeridoo, xeremies, voice, overtone singing, Manel Vega : bass and double bass, electronic programming, Marc Vila : tabla, conga, darbouka, djembe, other percussion and Angel Abad : drums, Jordi Vidal : DJ, with Silvia Perez vocals, Marc Villa : ambient percussion, darbouka, Tactequeté : ambient percussion, ..
Shortened curriculum of some of the current members : Dani Ibanez studied modern music at Barcelona Taller de Musics, musical programming, Hindu music at Varanasi (India), Turkish music in Istanbul (Turkey). Jordi Parés studied Hindu music and bansuri at Varanasi, and nay in Istanbul and Damascus (Syria). Bassplayer Manel Vega worked with many projects (also with Jaume Sisa), and is also a member of Trivuc and Les Violines.
Not listed on the album yet, but now also part of the group and project is Alba Guerrero, who is a flamenco singer and collaborated with various projects between flamenco and World music. He also collaborated in various flamenco dance shows. Also new are dancer Enric Fàbregas, and Rachida Aharrat, an oriental dancer and Fran Janer, artistic director.
PS. Just recently, in 2006, the group collaborated with the Moroccan musician Boughaleb Laarif.