Category Archives: DVD & Video Releases


DVD review: Benise – The Spanish Guitar

Review by Dawoud Kringle

Benise-spanish-guitar_t614A few years back, PBS aired a production of Benise: The Spanish Guitar as part of a fundraiser. The production was released as a DVD. Described in concert reviews as “The Latin River Dance,” this promised to be a monumental artistic statement in the Spanish guitar tradition, and beyond.

After a careful viewing, its real merits are obvious. The production is well paced, the musicians and dancers were spot on professionals, well rehearsed, and the production values are very well done.

But the whole thing leaves me with a profound sense of betrayal. Benise and his desperately needed plethora of musicians, dancers, elaborate stage sets, and CGI all conspire to evoke well planned emotional responses from audiences of limited taste and musical sensitivity – all with a meticulously choreographed technical perfection that is insincere and mechanical. It is, in fact, for those who have more musical sensitivity than the type whose idea of fine Mexican cuisine is an evening at Taco Bell, an insult to one’s intelligence.

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Dance and music: Sven Kacirek’s new music video “Nutcracker/Pas De Deux”

Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi

Here is another new Sven Kacirek video Nutcracker/Pas De Deux again made and produced by the German video artist Agnieszka Krzeminska. As always I love the visuals which really match well with the soundtrack of the video.

For many years, my friend and music colleague Sven Kacirek has been closely collaborating with the choreographer Antje Pfundtner, whose next modern dance production, The Nutcracker, will premiere at Kampnagel in Hamburg, December 12, 2012.

Antje Pfundtner is one of Kacirek’s favorite modern dance choreographers. Previously he composed music for her two dance pieces “Res(e)t” and Tim Acy and Die Kandidaten.  For this occasion Kacirek  re-recorded and re-arranged Tschaikowsky ‘s composition Pas de Deux. The music is mostly electronic with some analog sounds in it. Very ambient, minimal and repetitive.

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Yellow Dogs (Iran) new video!

The Yellow Dogs formed back in Tehran, Iran in 2006, and are one of the youngest Iranian rock bands out there. The social restrictions in Tehran and the restrictions imposed by the Iranian government forced them underground, and to build their own tiny bohemian practicing room – the “Sagdooni-by their own hands on the rooftop of their drummer Sina’s house. SAGDOONI (farsi for kennel) was where they shaped their own style of independent music. As the Iranian environment cracked down on underground music, they continued making and playing music in their tiny abode shut off from the outside world.

Yellow Dogs were one of the main subjects of the award winning (Cannes & Sao Paulo International film festivals) film, “No One Knows about Persian Cats” – who tells the stories of the underground music scene in Iran. Since their move to the USA one year ago, they have played numerous shows in NYC (including an ongoing monthly gallery/loft party), gone on a national tour, showcased at SXSW and CMJ, recorded an EP “In the Kennel” with producer, Keith Souza (The Battles, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah).

(Read here about the indie rock scene in present Iran.)

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DVD recommendation: Folk Cinema – this WORLD is UNREAL like a SNAKE in a ROPE?!

Title: This World Is Unreal Like A Snake In A Rope
Cat.#: DVD SF073
Label: Sublime Frequencies
Release date: out
Genre: trad. South Indian music
Buy the DVD here

A film by Robert Millis. Folk cinema from the eternal never-ending collage that is INDIA. A journey through the ancient Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu featuring Hindu trance ceremonies, street music, festivals, nagaswaram improvisations, impossibly loud cities, ancient temples, processions, devotions, decay, fireworks, abstractions and more. India is impossible to know: it is impossibly old and impossibly new, impossibly rich and impossibly poor, quiet and chaotic. Offered here is one perspective, raw, captured live and in the moment, with an emphasis on India’s complex and mesmerizing sounds. DVD features bonus photo gallery with over 100 images. 50 minutes/Color; digipack; all-region DVD; NTSC format. Limited one-time edition of 1000 copies.