March of The Zapotec
(02.2009, Pompeii Records)
RIYL: Pinatas or Rainbow Bright
I first listened to the new Zach Condon releases without knowing any back story as to why there were two separate EP's released together and sounding so completely different. The first half of the release, Beirut's March of The Zapotec encompasses Condon's glorious world music brass laden half of his personality while Realpeople's, Holland represents his looping electronic side. I enjoyed both, but was slightly confused by the mash difference. So I did my homework and uncovered the glorious story of Condon wanting to record with an authentic Mexican band, finding one such random band in Teotitlan del Valle, Mexico called the Jimenez Band. The 19 members in the Jimenez band spoke only Zapotec so Condon worked through a translator to write the six crazy songs. On first listen I proclaimed them sloppy and accused them of sounding like a fiesta (in a good way) and making me want to hit a pinata without knowing this information. I told Mr. Thistle how it sounded like listening to the bands play in Mexican cities I have been in. I was right! I'm so good. Several short films showing the recording process in Mexico are due to come out online in the near future. Anyways, Holland on the other hand is released under Condon's original bedroom recording moniker, Realpeople. Holland is a joyous release that will make you want to invite your friends over, wear a side ponytail and dance the night away, in a chill manner, particularly the last cheery track, "No Dice." Overall it's a very enjoyable release showcasing all of Zach's many efforts in music from 2008. It's less romantic and swooning than previous releases, (and I love Beirut's romance) but a whole lot more fun.