Ruper Ordorika: Kafe Antzokian

Singer, songwriter and guitarist Ruper Ordorika has long been established as one of the most important figures in the modern history of popular music from the Basque Country. Ever since his debut in 1980 he has been at the forefront of a cultural awakening in Euskal Herria with his original use of poetry within pop and rock settings.

Kafe Antzokian is the title of his new album and it’s also the name of the popular venue in Bilbao where this live performance was recorded last year. He is accompanied by a small band of four musicians playing guitars, bass, drums, violin and mandolin.

As the warm tones of the first song ‘Egia Da’ (It’s True) begin we know we’re not just in safe hands but in for a real treat. The song is one of three here from his superb 2014 album Lurrea Etzanda. The shortest song ‘Ahots Urrunak’ (Distant Voices) is from a subsequent album and is also one of the concert’s highlights.

Most of the selections are his own and there is one with words by the iconic exiled poet Joseba Sarrionandia. Midway through the concert there’s a break from the more familiar Ordorika compositions with the introduction of the folk song ‘Zazpi Nobio’ which at once exudes its Basqueness and at the same time slips perfectly into the set.

Something seems to have happened to Ruper Ordorika in these later years of his career. Over the past six years he has released some of his very best work. There has been an album of covers of his favourite songs by other writers; two albums of new songs with different bands; the completely solo Bakarka (which won the prize for best album in Basque at the Spanish Independent Music Awards last year); and now this live album to consolidate his formidable reputation.

Kafe Antzokian is released by Elkar.

Explore posts in the same categories: Basque Music

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