DaZoque! DaZoque!

Norman Nawrocki and Minda Bernstein are two Montreal violinists that have been working in a variety of bands and styles for quite some time now. Fans of Winnipeg's G-7 label may know Nawrocki from Rhythm Activism or Bakunin's Bum (also featuring Aidan from 1-Speed Bike and Godspeed). Bernstein's alliances stray more to the traditional, including the Bagg Street Klezmer Band. In DaZoque!, they tap into a vein of Eastern European folk music both traditional and transformed. If the themes seem strangely familiar, it may be that many of the epic rock ensembles from Montreal (i.e., Godspeed and its many offshoots) have been incorporating plaintive passages from traditional work for some time now. However, DaZoque! brings a fuller view of the range of emotion the music describes. Filled out to a sextet at times (with cello, bass, drums and samplers), the band reaches peaks of sublimity and depths of darkness over the course of the album's 11 tracks. (Les Pages Noires)