Troublemaking in style, new guitar explorer’s advent arrives at the wrong-footing of adventurous kind.
Now there’s a great reason to reassociate Serbia and think of it not as of a war-ravaged country but as a birthplace of this young musician. Bringing the Balkan tradition to Barcelona, where he resides now, was bound to enrich Dusan Jevtovic’s rhythmic sensation and heighten his vivacity, which it did, with cuts such as the marching “Tra-Ta-Ta-Ta-Ta” taking the the guitarist’s second album one short step beyond the expected. As a result the titular question, repeated in the nervous piece of the same name, dramatically jazzy in a clanging way, feels rather rhetorical – or mischievous. Yet good-natured mischief is the name of the sparse game here that’s revealed once the airy fingers’ caress of opener “You Can’t Sing, You Can’t Dance” gives room to an elephantine riff, jittering and jolting awkwardly, if arrestingly, over Bernat Hernandez’s supple bass and Marko Djordjevic’s heavy beat.
The rhythm section is given the pride of place in “Drummer’s Dance” with the main man’s axe as a pole for his sidekicks to twirl around, while “One On One” crawls in as a prime example of deliciously troglodyte blues and speaks volumes without saying a word: on this instrumental record, music does all the talking as does the space between the notes. This space fills the echoing expanse of “Embracing Simplicity,” Jevtovic peeling off licks only to flesh them out in an FX buzz and stop in their tracks before picking the gloomy and gnarly melody once again. Sometimes, the waft gets otherworldly – weird radio noises fly through the romantic twang of “Third Life” – but “If You See Me Again” weave acoustic thread into the fabric and prompt one to drop the “if”: a new meetup should be arranged to see how the puzzle pieces scattered around Dusan’s international debut would fit into a wondrous picture.