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Julius Curcio
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"Come Alive"
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Launchpad [Issue #21]
By Mandana Beigi
Gor (CD Gor)

Armenian world music artist Gor Mkhitarian’s US debut is a solid step into the American alternative music scene. A seamless blend of Armenian traditional music and jazzy/folky Western pop, this is the kind of album that you would play over and over again!

A native of the Armenian city of Vanazor, Gor grew up listening to what his older brothers were listening to: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, etc., which had a tremendous affect in driving his musical tendencies away from the mainstream traditional sound of the region. Playing the guitar became a hobby, but Gor never pursued music seriously until the early ‘90s when he began singing in a church choir. He collaborated with a few other musicians and was soon the lead guitarist of Luv-Eli, one of Armenia’s most well known rock bands.

What sets Gor apart from the rest of the world music artists is his open-mindedness in creating music. He does not stick to one genre because he is not derivative of any particular formulated sound. In a bold move for a world music artist, he decided to do the entire album in English; a gesture in embracing the Western pop music and producing a harmonic hybrid of different sounds and cultures. It’s all about taking musical risks. On this album, Gor has proven to be more of an experimental multi-faceted artist than a conventional singer/songwriter.

Opening with the catchy “Breakdown,” the album travels through different moods and lyrical depth. Among my personal favorites are the beautifully arranged “Stigma” and the bittersweet “Cold Wagon 1993.”

Gor also features John Berberian on oud and vocalist Sebu Simonian (Aviatic), as well as co-producer Erwin Khachikian (Slow Motion Reign). This may not be your typical Putumayo world music record, but it is perhaps one of the best independent releases of the year.


Gor Gor

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