Technically a split
record featuring Beirut
By Blurt Staff
Pompeii Records will be dropping March of the Zapotec, the new double EP from Beirut, on Feb.
26. Split between new Beirut material recorded in Mexico
with the help of a Oaxacan marching band, and solo material by Zach Condon (under
the name Realpeople, his old nom du
rawk, but for reasons known only to him), this album-length double release
represents the entirety of Zach Condon’s work over the past year.
Here’s the scoop, direct from Pompeii:
In the year 2008, Beirut alternated between
the two extremes of the modern musician; touring the world in support of 2007’s
much-lauded The Flying Club Cup, and nurturing
the creative spark by writing a wealth of new material. With no sense of
a release in mind, bandleader Zach Condon recorded in any style that struck his
fancy. Some early discussions about recording material for a film being
shot in Mexico morphed into a new idea…what about hiring a local Mexican band
to help record some songs based on new material?
After finding the band through a friend’s mother, hiring a translator, and
catching a plane down to Oaxaca, Zach made his
way to the tiny weaver village
of Teotitlan del Valle,
where he met the nineteen members of The Jimenez Band. The ensuing weeks
of recording, rewriting and relating are documented in a series of short films
(to be released online as the release date for March of the Zapotec draws
near). The second part of the release, Holland,
collects a series of new home recordings done by Zach under his old moniker,
Realpeople, and gives the listener a unique perspective on yet another side of
Zach’s artistic vision.
Whether he’s being inspired by Balkan folk, French chanteuse, Mexican
troubadour, ’80s synth pop, or ’90s house, the common thread remains Zach’s
ability to make a simple melody both artistically unique and endlessly
familiar. March of the Zapotec marks the continuing emergence of a
musician who has only shown an inkling of where he is headed.