This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

Ekova


Country of origin:

France

Type of music generally:

Ethereal world music

Status:

Disbanded; final release, Space Lullabies And Other Fantasmagore (2000)

See also:

Wikipedia's Ekova entry

Page for Dierdre Dubois, who is now recording solo

Comparisons:

Dead Can Dance, Lisa Gerrard, Delerium, Ofra Haza

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

See album comments below.

Recommended first album:

Space Lullabies And Other Fantasmagore

Recordings:


Heaven's Dust

Release info:

1998—Six Degrees Records/Sony

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Dierdre Dubois—vocals
Mehdi Haddab—oud, guembri, percussion, cello, kalimba
Arach Khalatbari—percussion, vocals, clarinet
Cyrille Dufay—programming

Produced by:

Ekova

Comments:

Back when Lisa Gerrard's Mirror Pool CD was released, a reviewer bitchily (but accurately) characterized Gerrard as "if Kate Bush, instead of being a pixie, had been born as a suicidal nun." While I personally love the spiritual, mystical side of Gerrard's oeuvre, I can see how it can be a bit depressing for some people. Ekova's Dierdre Dubois gives Gerrard's trademark mouth-music style a dose of anti-depressants. An American-born French citizen, Dubois fashions her own language out of nonsense syllables, singing in a pastiche of mostly Eastern styles. The instrumentation includes Dubois' own guitar and cello-playing, an oud-player (Egyptian harp-guitar) and a percussionist who gallops through Celtic, African and flamenco riffs with joyous abandon. To add to the melange, there's Indian-raga-like version of the Irish folk tune "In My Prime." Dubois' voice is rich and deep, and has a nice chocolatey tone that brings to mind Cesaria Evora. Imagine Yma Sumac, instead of singing longue-ethnic hybrids, attempted material closer in spirit to Vas or Lisa Gerrard, and you might come up with this fascinating CD. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

Space Lullabies And Other Fantasmagore

Release info:

2000—Six Degrees Records/Sony

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Dierdre Dubois—vocals, cello, pots and pans
Mehdi Haddab—oud, lofta, MPC2000, lotar, uti, bendir, tiqarqawin, toy guitar
Arach Khalatbari—zarb, djembe, cajon, steel drum, daff, snare, cymbals, flute

Guest artists:

Jamie Muhoberac, Chris Bruce, Lisa Germano, Carmen Rizzo (Povi), Andrew Scheps, Julien Lourau, Cyril Dufay, Jean-Pierre Smadja, Pierre Bosheron

Produced by:

Carmen Rizzo and Ekova

Comments:

It's fab, equal parts techno and acoustic-ethnic, with Dierdre's Lisa Gerrard by way of Yma Sumac vocals gracing the whole thing. It's atmospheric and haunting, yes, but it also has attitude, like a fierce Parisian drag queen. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

Varied, fresh yet confident—I love it. There are strong middle-eastern influences, and I'm sure they can be compared to Dead Can Dance. They might also appeal to the fans of Land Of The Blind, and at times I thought I could even hear touches of Jorane—but what I heard most of all is similarity to some Delerium tracks. To quote from the blurb on the cover, "Ekova creates a dream world, the folk music of techno-global future"... OK, I'll buy that.
     As for Lisa Germano, her name is listed in the credits, but so far (admittedly after only one listening) I couldn't point to any moment where I could say, "ah, this is Lisa Germano!". Don't expect it to be anything like Lisa's solo records—it really isn't. Reading the list of additional musicians I noticed another name of interest: Carmen Rizzo. He was one half of Povi, the duo who in 1999 released (through Nettwerk) Life in Volcanoes—an excellent recording, yet sadly overlooked even on Ecto. (afries@zip.com.au)

It's an addictive album, from a group that is from Europe and has a ton of Middle Eastern influences. Basically, their music sounds like Dead Can Dance, Ofra Haza, and Big Hat all at once. Some songs are straight out of the European underground dance scene, while others are reminiscent of Jorane, with invented-language utterances in place of lyrics. There's even a Pentangle song, "Cruel Sister" (which clocks in at over ten minutes, but you don't even notice the time going by). Dierdre DuBois, the singer has a gorgeous voice. I would file her voice in the same folder as Ofra Haza, Lisa Gerrard, Liz Fraser (Cocteau Twins, and Jorane. Plus, Lisa Germano plays violin on a couple tracks! Extra bonus points for that.
     The album is on Six Degrees Records, which has a "travel series" of music that has pan-global influences and fuses different traditions together into something entirely new. I'd say that's a fair description of what Ekova is doing. (meth@smoe.org)


Thanks to afries@zip.com.au for work on this entry.

Why the ads?
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2014-05-26 13:48:53.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.