Zlatko Kaučič


Admired for conducting experiments using drums, percussive tools, and self-made instruments, Zlatko Kaučič’s quest to discover new sounds meshed with familiar idioms is never ending. His latest release Emigrants from Leo Records is a testament to his belief that immigration and migration enriches the spectrum of music and cultures. His album is his way of protesting the European community’s intolerance towards immigration and migration. His message is made definitively as he uses a selection of ground drums, gongs, glockenspiel, sensula, flutes, marimba, and self-made instruments, and every now and then, Kaučič sings on the tracks in a smooth voicing that soothes the soul.

The repetitive cadence of the beats in “Space Polka” cleft by the airy texture of the glockenspiel as it springs joyfully creates a matrix of notes that permeate a coloring relatable to the music of Asian cultures. The music resonates with the listener’s sense of beauty and need for uplifting atmospherics. Kaučič’s compositions are completely improvised as he is led by an inner compass that directs him through the melodic passages he desires to project and the rhythmic patterns he wishes to use. The rhythm patterns are mutable shifting from a steady cadence like in “Ten Steps” as subtle nuances of flickering chirps move in and out of the drum fills, to the heavy rumbles of “Run over Borders” which recede when intercepted by a myriad of reverberating gongs and vibrating rattles.

Kaučič combines a variety of elements. Some have rudimentary tones like the clanking taps dotting “Ten Steps” and some are more sophisticated like the subliminal echoes and shards of jangly vibrations that course through “Sound Fields”. The piece has sounds that one can imagine mirrors the communication made amongst forest animals. There is a primitive feel in Kaučič’s sonic patterns that brings out an animal instinct in his improvisations. A lonely flute emerges from the forestry haze and leads “Sound Fields” into a joyous dance.

For an artist whose impetus to make Emigrants is his outrage against the European community’s intolerance of immigration and migration, there is a solid amount of joyous music to be found. His compositions merge music from various cultures including his own homeland of Slovenia. He demonstrates that music from different outlets bond beautifully so why can’t people?

Zlatko Kaučič - ground drums, gongs, glockenspiel, sensual, flutes, marimba, vocals, and self-made instruments

Emigrants, Nocturno, Space Polka, Song of Humiliated People, Ten Steps, Run Over Borders, Sound Fields, Boat of Hope, Faces without Dreams, Mikelinicica


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Susan Frances