Strunz And Farrah

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Today, Jorge Strunz (from Costa Rica) and Adreshir Farrah (from Iran) belong to what is probably the most popular guitar duo in the world. But their path to success has been strewn with thorns. They have been trying for many years (since the late seventies, to be more precise) to break through, and although they had been making wildly exciting music for more than ten years, success only came once they've toned their fire down and started playing danceable grooves.

Ironically, their best world music album to date is their first recording -- "Mosaico" (1981). It features astonishingly complex guitar playing in the context of the globe-trotting backdrop. Something like "Greek Zorba dancing in the Caribbean sunset backed by the Kundalini-like wiggling of the Indian violin". Actually, the star that outshines our spectacular guitarists is a phenomenal Indian violinist L. Subramaniam. His solo on "The Shadow Of Heaven" pushes the capabilities of the violin to its extreme limits, while at the same time conveying the mysterious feeling of the spiritual initiation.

Both Strunz's and Farrah's guitar playing is intricate to the point of being blurry. However, take the preceding statement in its most positive light -- it's this blurry quality that communicates the abundance and the felicity of the sub-tropical climate. The arabesques that they weave throughout this recording are mind-boggling; they tend to be so complex that it almost defies any analysis. In one of their earlier interviews they reminisced how brutal it was to record "Mosaico". In all truthfulness, you can't find many recordings where guitar playing has been pushed to such extreme limits as it was on this album. Still, this is not strictly for the guitar aficionados, as it contains some breathtakingly beautiful music.

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