The first sign of her arrival in Europe was an album, “Cinnamon Cassia”. Her angelical voice floating in front of a back-drop of Indonesian percussion and rhythms entranced us with her unique electro-Asian subtlety.
On this album, Norazia shared with us the enchantment of her Indonesian roots, memories of childhood, the allure of magic – a spell-binding cocktail that whisked us far away from the bitter cold of the winter 2003 -2004.
And then, having tantalizingly aroused our interest, she seemed to disappear, she became as elusive as a dream, a memory. From time to time there were concerts, briefly illuminating the Parisian sky like a shooting star, which gave the lucky few a glimpse of her unrelenting but hidden evolution and progress.
“Core”, her second album deepens the mystery. Behind this simple title (without forgetting that “core” comes from the French word “coeur” meaning “heart” with all that it implies : the essential, the soul…) Norazia draws us further into her universe. We recognise the luminous vocal purity with which she charmed and troubled us on “Cinnamon Cassia”, her unsettling ability to seduce without losing her almost childlike naivety, where assurance alternates with fragility, delicacy with soul. And then there are the colours. The myriad hues that speak of her Indonesian origins and also the time spent by this World citizen in Bali and Singapore, New York and Paris.
Norazia speaks and writes in English and French, and readily admits being influenced by Björk, Ryuchi Sakamoto as well as traditional Indonesian music.
And the surprises continue during her concerts when she interprets Serge Gainsbourg’s “La Javanaise” “Core” is so much more than a simple listening experience. We are irresistibly enticed into the depths and intimacy of Norazia’s caressing, velvet melodies. We let ourselves be transported by the languid ballads. We sway along with the Brazilian rhythms of “Truly Skies”. We are almost overwhelmed by the richness of the arrangements: the brass sections in “Blue Caramel” or the delicately jazzy “Monsoon”, the crystalline harp in “Your Guide”, the strings in the captivating “Percayalah”, with vibraphones, marimbas and Indonesian percussion liberally sprinkled over everything. We surface from this cocoon of sounds, “Core”, a sort of dream world, with the impression of returning from a long journey somewhere. Or have we simply woken up from a dream? Perhaps both. Does Norazia sing or cast spells? The enigma lingers on…..
Label: Aurasky Music
Release date: September 26, 2008