private Yerba Mater -digipack-(POL,2002-2003)****'
Someone on the net suggested me I should definitely check this Polish group, and I am glad I did.
The group seems to mix a new range of taught traditions, which makes a combination, from what I can recall, of at least Indian, Persian, European Medieval times, and Tuvan traditions, well mixed.
After a meditative intro, “Sephka”, for instance, is a powerful, energetic almost folk-rock track, with an Indian / Persian / European Medieval times mix of rhythmical-fastness in the composition, with simpler tabla compared to Indian traditions, with chamber-like arrangements, and with Polish deep inland flute. The track increases its energy just like a fire dance. “Ravi z Wetliny” after this reminds me a bit of some of the late ‘80s, early ‘90s Kwartet Jorgi works I have: the tabla rhythms are equally closely accompanied by rhythmic acoustic guitar themes, while high toned exotic flutes and also violin ? improvise along this rhythmic drive, like an improvisation that could be repeated and improvised upon, into eternity. A new intro, “Raga Praga” drones a combination of didgeridoo with Tuvan overtone singing, and performs a kind of World folk chamber music dance, with use of hurdy gurdy, jew’s harp, tabla, double bass, a Tuvan song I guess. Making combinations of Persian modes, percussion and oud mixed with hurdy-gurdy, or with tampura and even sitar are rather unusual, but combine perfectly. On “Dla Yerbusa” also the double bass improvises along with the oud in a way like in India percussion, sitar and tabla makes musical conversations, a track like a compact raga. This double bass comes in more often, and is especially rewarding and wild, in combination with oud and flute on “Kulawy Mazur”. The last bonus track tends to be a more (Middleeastern) rhythmic exploitation in a DJ mix, but has enough surprising elements to be rewarding in its own way, ending once more with its acoustic core, on an acoustic rhythmic drive, just like it appeared somewhat earlier before. Highly recommended listen.
Bart Pawyga : cello, kemanche, sarangi, sigit (over-tone singing ); Maciek "Cierlik" Cierliński : ud, hurdy-gurdy, mouth-harp, slovak fujara, duduk ; Huba Połoniewicz : tabla, bendir, tombak, tamburello ; Seba Wielaedek: turkish and persian ney, hurdy-gurdy, zurna ; Raf Maminski : saz, cura, tanbur,, kargyraa (throat singing ), Anna Mamińska : suka, tampura ; with guests Kasia Staniszewska ; Milenka Machzczynska ; Ted ; Patryk Zakrocki ; Luka Howuj ; Piter Kostarczyk ; Adas Kubacki ; Ryszard Latecki ; which becomes on live recordings : Piotr Dabrowski : udu, bells , cymbals, hard-discs.
“The name was taken from the yerba mate herb, I think you know that herb, but If you don't, you can read something about it on wikipedia ;). it is important, because they drink a lot of yerba mate :D it gives them that mighty power, I guess ;). At first, there were only three of them: Maciej Cierliński, Bart Pałyga and Rafał Mamiński. They started with some improvisations with appearance and participation of some friends. That was in the first half of the year 2001. In the same year few more members joined them. In 2002 they were seen on many parties and festivals and they started joining stages with many groups. In that time they made their first long play album named "meditation" and signed as yerba mater. The album "meditation" like in the name was mostly with meditative music based on the tradition of Indian music. The next year was the next challenge for the band. They made for example some music for the film "Stara Baśń" soundtrack, and they were co-operating with Krzesimir Dębski, and they started working at a new album. In 2004 the band took part of making Masala Soud System project and some concerts with MSS, and they made materials for their second album named "raga praga". Even though the band marks, that their music comes from the "music neverland" more than from any existing place on earth, they are taking some inspiration from the India, Persian and old European culture. The members of the band are:
Maciej Cierliński - hurdy-gurdy, something called "ud", slovakian pipe