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Morytáty a romance

Živo and Ivo Cicvárek

Indies Scope / 2022
Genres: folk, folkrock
2664599
CD $ 12.76
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ABOUT

ŽIVO is the new name of a proven folk rock band and its new album is called Morytáty a romance (i.e. The Morytates And Romances). The formation around singer Ivo Cicvárek, the band Velký svět (nominated for the Czech “Anděl” Angel Award for their eponymous debut album) shortens its name and changes to ŽIVO. And it immediately offers a recording with a mood, like when an old tramp meets a folk singer and a hip-hopper in the morning at a burning tire, he plays rock classics and riffs on a battered tape recorder and twists his thumb until the bone cracks. Fifteen other musicians and singers such as Robert Křesťan, Norbi Kovács, Markéta Tulisová, Lada Šimíčková and Pavel Čadek were guests on the album.

 

Is it possible to combine the mood of old campfire songs with a ballad poetry and music that uses stomped rhythms, electronic sounds and the colour of acoustic instruments? During the spring and summer of 2022, the record was created as dark and fun as an abandoned tunnel where someone stole the frets and replaced them with a rake. But every true tunnel ends with a light, even if it may seem like it's just a flickering screen of a nearly dead cell phone.

 

The album Morytáty a romance brings 11 folk rock stories, where occasionally other musical styles that Ivo Cicvárek liked from childhood to this day flash by. Although the resulting sound of the Morytates is contemporary, an attentive listener can notice the disco mood of the eighties, the rock seventies, but also the legendary Semafor theatre in Prague (established by the song-writing duo Jiří Suchý and Jiří Šlitr), a touch of Moravian ballads - but not an imitation of folk songs! - even a return to the 19th century to Neruda or French poetry. In addition, the CD version is extended by the bonus song "Do tváří" (i.e. To The Face / Completing), which was created by correspondence recording during the first covid lockdown.

The sound is primarily defined by the interplay of piano, guitars, samples(Ivo Cicvárek), precise drums (Radim Grünwald), and bass guitar (Jakub Lutner). A number of other musicians are guests on the record: from singers such as Robert Křesťan and Darek Neumann to singers Markéta Tulisová, Veronica Bartošová and Lada Šimíčková. Norbi Kovács contributed with brilliant guitar and Jakub Zomer provided the sound of the Hammond organ. Pavel Čadek and his cello are also present, Michal Grombiřík contributed with the dulcimer, and Nikolaj Petruk with the accordion. In total, 18 musicians participated in the album, including the bonus CD!

The recording was created under the supervision of Michal Šindelář and Jakub Šimáně (mix) in the top studio Svárov and several other studios. Broněk Šmíd brilliantly took care of the resulting mastering.

ŽIVO, Ivo Cicvárek and his gang prove once again that Czech progressive folk-rock can boldly fuse with electronic music and search for new expressive possibilities. After all, even for Ivo, this record means a step away from the classic singer-songwriter personal form. The songs on Morytáty a romance have different narrators, they are distinctly epic, and the personal experience that Ivo previously relied on as an author is hidden in many songs until the second or third plan. Did all the stories happen the way ŽIVO sings and plays about them? Even if not, they could have happened that way…

Ivo Cicvárek: “For years, I've been thinking about a vinyl blanket to imprint guys' nights around campfires, pirate songs, and old good yarns. At the same time, I didn't want it to be a tramp record. I was more interested in translating this ballad feeling not only into folk-rock, but even into an electronic disco. And for years I was afraid to fit into the role of the narrators of some stories. I got a little older, where I felt a different voice, my musical friends helped me. So enjoy this step into the dark as much as we did when writing it, in the practice room or in the studio! After all, why can't what's black be fun at the same time?”


TRACKS

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