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"Lo-Lee-Taa-Too Review"

Ding Dong, 2005

The music of Foltin and its band members including, truly defy gravity. This makes it difficult, but fun to try to describe what they are doing. Somehow they seem to follow Brian Eno’s maxim “Honour Thy Mistake as a Hidden Intention” as they are turning each situation into their own advantage. They certainly imply guerrilla tactics when it comes to music making, always coming at you from unexpected places. As a result of that their music is dynamic, full of surprises, and humorous - and they blend all sorts of influences together: jazz, improv music, funk, bossa nova, chalgia, klezmer, ambient, and film music. This approach makes their music sound unpredictable and challenging, thus making them one of the leading groups on the macedonian scene.

However, their rumbunctious, madcap, eclectic, yet subtle style germinated, evolved, and blossomed through the live performances which earned the band its reputation. The band’s breathtaking and often theatrical (cabaret-like) performances have provided great moments for their audience and have cemented their image as a great live act.

Unfortunately, the objective inability of the medium to present the visual aspect, which is a vital and integral part of their live act, plus the lack of proper producers and sound engeneers, has really hindered the quality of their recordings, as they sometimes sounded unfinished. But with Lo-Lee-Taa-Too Foltin made a huge step forward in terms of production and they are returning with their best effort ever. As was their practice in the past, the material was created and tested in various live settings before it was recorded in the studio.

What they began on their previous record Donkey Hot, a sort of pseudo-cabaret music, has been broadened to break new grounds, at moments resembling Tom Waits but with much more groove and dynamics. In the past the band usually based its music around a weird concept or a story. Donkey Hot told the story of a donkey that wanted to be a horse, while Archimed was an attempt to imitate electronic music but with acoustic instruments. Lo-Lee-Taa-Too is a portrait of an artist who makes love to his instrument while playing it.

The album opens up with “Financial Times,” a combination of bossa nova and funk. A nice rhythm guitar injects nice funky elements. This is followed by “Lolita,” which is one of the album’s funkiest tracks. It has great guitar riffs and pumping rhythms, but the clarinet is a killer, providing nice melodies that at the same time resemble both klezmer and chalgia melodies. The “Tip Of The Tongue” has a great opening accordion riff and a wistful clarinet, which, combined with a light groove, truly add a different color to the overall picture. “Ding Dong” is the most dynamic track on the album, with romping and stomping rhythms, steamy and grooving basslines, funky keyboards, and processed vocals. Actually, it’s a reworked old classic of theirs, “Topka” (”Sphere”), recorded for the Archimed album which seamlessly finds its place in the new material, a ringing testament to these players' growth and constant evolution as musicians.

”Dali znaes Pametish li Milice” (”Do You Remember, Milica”) is an old popular traditional classic which can be heard in its original folk form on the Kaldrma project CD, but here it is infused with a nice bossa nova feel (sang by guest actor Senko Velinov), feeding into the carnival atmosphere that echoes throughout the whole album

What makes Lo-Lee-Taa-Too so great is Foltin’s tasteful mastery over the myriad of influences present in its work and the fearless voyages into uncharted teritories. It's a delightful album made with great honesty, consisting of songs that transcend and defy any and all categories, resulting delightfully in music which is uniquely Foltin's own.

Personnel:Pierre Capitan, Pece Nikolovski: clarinet; Voice and lyrics: Wordman Rexpen, Branislav Nikolov: voice and lyrics; Pero de La Noche, Petar Dimitrovski: organ; Peter Helmsman, Pece Trajkovski: accordion, electric guitar; G. J. Mastman, Goce Jovanoski: bass; S. J. Oarsman, Dr. anestesiologista do Batteria, Slave Jovev: drums.

Track Listing:Financial Times; Lolita 2; The Tip Of The Tongue; If You Touch Me I’ll Die; Ding Dong; Psst!; Garneta; Prsti Prsti; Milica. - Nenad Georgievski / All About Jazz

"Funky Improv Macedonian Jazz = Foltin"

Monday, September 10th, 2007 at 12:51 pm

I saw Foltin play in Sozopol on Saturday night and I’m going to see them again at the Sofia Jazz Club tonight. They’re recorded tracks are a beautiful mix of contemporary jazz with traditional Macedonian sounds. The lyrical theme to their most recent album seems to be something to do with Woody Allen, and Nabokov’s classic novel Lolita.

Their live show is an incredibly pumped up dance party that surges like a gypsy wedding. We danced our asses off until they finished their 3rd encore and the owner of the club basically kicked them off the stage. The vibe was much like that of a Gogol Bordello show (Ukranian Gypsy punk out of NYC) with a little Tom Waits thrown into it!

If you’re in Sofia tonight or tomorrow, you should definitely check them out; I’ll be there.

- The Balkan Yankee


Die mazedonische Cabaret-Punk-Jazz-Folk Band
Foltin ist eine uber die Grenzen hinweg beruchtigte Gruppe die sich zwischen Satire und Performance immer hart an der Grenze und daruber hinaus bewegen
- WOHIN… in Wien - Christoph Tautscher


2008 - Ova transplantirana mashina na chukanje dosega ne tipkala ljubovno pismo ((p) KIC-Skopje)
2005 - Lo-Lee-Ta-Too ((p) 2005 DingDongRecords;
(c) 2008 Messechina Music)
2003 - Donkey Hot (Kukuzel Music)
2000 - Archimed (MAG)
1997 - Outre - mer (SJF records)

1.1. OUT-RE-MER is their first album released in 1997. It was created with the help of the Skopje Jazz Festival and produced by Kokan Dimushevski. This album abounds with the features which separated this group from the remaining bands in Macedonia, such as for instance the use of unusual instruments like tin cans, hoses and toys for children.

1.2 The second album ARCHIMED was released in 2000, when Foltin also began to write theater music. Through the attempt to merge electronic music with acoustic instruments, the songs gradually develop toward techno sounding, especially the song Archimed after which the album takes its name. Conceptually, ARCHIMED is supposed to present the idea of the modern man, a traveler and adventurer who falls in love with a local woman.

1.3 The third album titled DONKEY HOT was released in 2003 and carries a completely different story from the previous two albums. It unifies electronic music, acoustic instruments, and various toys, and it also uses kind of invented Esperanto language. The album is a parodical reflection of the reality we live in, with special emphasis on the everyday Spanish soap operas broadcast over the local televisions. In the album, the latter are ridiculed through a Latino sound and other humorous elements.

1.4 The fourth and latest album was released in 2005 and is titled LO-LE-TA-TOO. It is a biographical album and an auto-portrait of the musician who conveys his being through the sounds of the instrument. The lyrics are composed of writing by Nabokov and Rensoir translated in Macedonian, however they are performed with accents that differ from the typical Macedonian accent.

texts by Neda Maretic



PSEUDO - EMIGRANT CABARET [Music for wasted jumpy fingers]

Foltin in short, is an unusual cast, whose music is hard to define, and every attempt to insert it into a musical genre would not be very successful. Foltin’s music is surreal, passionate and witty, characterized with a frantic dance atmosphere, which is achieved with the fast Macedonian rhythm. Even though they use standard musical elements, their approach in creating the atmosphere is unpredictable and above all, original. In their musical identity the Anglo - Macedonian hybrid, is a collision between the East and West. Their language is an imaginary mixture or phonetic imitation of the world languages like: Spanish, French, Romanian, Portuguese... Their “spontaneous Esperanto”.

Foltin describe themselves as pseudo - emigrant cabaret, and often their concerts are turning into real performances. It is not a strange thing to imagine all that when you consider the fact that they have worked on a music for theatre performances, in which they are famous for using the ready-made “instruments” or creating ambient sound with objects from unmusical primer function, construction of some kind sculptures and installations.

Their last project is “Davy the Bowie + Fallen from Mars” - cover versions on David Bowie’s songs, sounding very special being performed by Foltin.

They took part in many musical and theatre festivals in Macedonia, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, France and they have been awarded for their work many times.

The group exists since 1995 and have published four albums so far.