News & Reviews
- Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Benjamín Escoriza, the Spanish singer and former vocalist of Radio Tarifa, died on March 9, 2012, after a long illness. Benjamín Escoriza was born in Colomera, Granada, in 1953 and moved to Madrid in 1989, where he met Vicente Molino and Fain Sanchez Dueñas. They would form the band Radio Tarifa, which release four albums on World Circuit/Nonesuch Records: Rumba Argelina, Temporal, Cruzando el Rio, and Fiebre.
About this Album
Since the extraordinary success of their debut album Rumba Argelina, released in 1996, and sold-out live performances complete with flamenco dancer Joaquin Ruiz Gomez, Radio Tarifa have continued on their adventurous journey into the melting pot of musics from medieval Spain with their third release on World Circuit / Nonesuch Cruzando el rio (Crossing the River).
Taking their name from the southernmost town in the Spanish peninsula, Tarifa, where the sounds of the early morning prayers carry across the straits from North Africa, Radio Tarifa’s repertoire conjures up the distant beats and passions of ancient Iberia, with its myriad influences of Jewish and Moorish medievalism.
The haunting mix of African rhythms and Spanish harmonies with extracts of flamenco that made such an impression on Rumba Argelina have been further refined with each subsequent release. Radio Tarifa is actually a small group of maverick musicians of Mediterranean origin; Vincent Molino, wind sections; Benjamin Escorizá, lyrics and vocals; and Faín S. Dueñas, percussion, strings and the leader of the group.
This trio of self-confessed musical alchemists combine their talents to magical effect with Cruzando el río. The repertoire is an even balance of songs written especially for the album and existing material drawn from a variety of folkloric traditions (Castillian, Andalusian, and even Japanese—‘Gujo Bushi’). Listeners in many different parts of the world may be surprised to find familiar sounds or melodies emerging from the elegant tangle that constitutes the music of Radio Tarifa.
In arrangements by Dueñas, the instrumentation remains similar to previous recordings with notable additions. The electric guitar played by Faín S. Dueñas and Vincent Molino on the cromorno (a forerunner of the oboe) make this ancient music sound miraculously modern.
With Cruzando el río, Radio Tarifa have created a vast sound tapestry that is haunting and atmospheric, weaving between ancient and modern, joy and despair.
Benjamín Escoriza: Vocals
Vincent Molino: Wind instruments, keyboards
Faín Dueñas: Guitars, strings, bass and percussion
Marche Trujillo: Vocals and gaita
Joaquin Ruíz: Tap percussion
Caridad Alcazar Gutierrez: Chorus
Juncal Fernández: Vocals
Cristina Godoy and Gema Quesada: Chorus
Produced by Radio Tarifa
This album is available from Nonesuch in the United States and Canada only.