Projekt Jon
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Projekt Jon
Projekt Jon

Italian producer and electronic wizard Paul Mazzolini works with a group of Albanian popular and traditional singers, The Tirana Polyphonic Group, and musicins, led by singer and writer Ardit Gjebrea and what comes out is completely unexpected, strange, sometimes way over the top pop, at other times disarmingly avant garde. This CD is not ALL perfect, veering into predictable studio tricks at times, but the voices are great, the ideas are solid, and enough of it is surpriseing to make it worth the adventure.


The press info says:
When we think about Albania we immagine terrible scenes of people packed on boats trying to find a new, better life, we see prostitutes hanging round the dark and dirty streets of our suburbs bound to slavery and we think of it's landscape, a European desert driven to misery by fifty years of bankrupcy. But Albania is not only that (although it's growing out of all this), it's a land of antique resources, a cultural crossroad of elements that are the pure essence of Mediterranean tradition. Culture means art and art brings us to music, Great Music. Strangely enough among the few positive aspects of the ancient régime there was this will to keep the quality of the music (and the traditions linked to it) high, very high.

And in this context emerged "Projekt Jon". "Projekt" ? Because it's a musical dream blending it's cast of characters so different from each other yet so near. Ardit Gjebrea is a singer-songwriter, probably the most popular singer-songwriter in his country, he was born 32 years ago in Tirana where he studied music and graduated in composition. After a period of specialisation in counterpoint at the S.Cecilia conservatory of Rome he returns to his country and becomes in very short time one the biggest entertainer in Albania presenting TV Shows, the Tirana Song Contest festival and the Miss Europe selection in 1996. He is definately the "trait-d'union" between the two worlds that blend in the Projekt, the tradition and the electronics.

The ethnic and traditional side is held up The Tirana Polyphonic Group marvelous singers capable of evocating with their particular voices subliminal memories of ancient flavours and Mediterranean scents. They have only recently been in the condition to perform around the world to introduce their art and this brings us to the question :

Why "Jon" ? Jon is the Ionian sea that keeps Albania in contact with the rest of the world and particularly with Italy, the country all the Albanians see as their "America", a country where you can lead a normal life and where your ambitions are only limited by your capacities.

Italy is also the place where we live and work with Paul Mazzolini the third element in the alchemy who is the producer as well as the electronic part of the projekt.

The Projekt's visiting card is "Eja" a song that develops around mysterious pads of voices, african rythmic loops and ancient melodies. The lyrics talk about a woman sitting on a hill full of olive trees and watching anxiously the sea waiting for her man to come back.

A scene we Italians are not quite unused to.

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