• Music

    Linnea Hjertén – Nio Systrar

    From Linnea Hjertén’s Bandcamp site: “Born from the synthesis of Swedish folk melodies and ritual ambient, Linnea Hjertén’s debut album “Nio systrar” (‘Nine sisters’) is a wordless invocation of primordial energy – a psychoacoustic gateway to altered states of consciousness. Each of the nine tracks brings us deeper into the cycle of spiritual death and rebirth, stripping away the old to make way for the new. With a musical maturity far beyond her years, Hjertén channels the ethereal beauty of Dead Can Dance, the spellbinding chants of Kari Rueslåtten, and the minimalist Nordic atmosphere of Forndom. […] With an expansive…

  • Music

    Kristo Rodzevski – Black Earth

    Here is something rather magnificent coming out of Macedonia in the form of Kristo Rodzevski’s latest album through Defkaz, a great Greek label.  There is hope for the Balkans yet!  From the Defkaz Bandcamp site: “Black Earth has eleven traditional Macedonian songs infused with African aesthetics, including Gnawa undertones, Congo rumba, and African field recordings. The core of the traditional Macedonian harmonies and rhythms was developed over the centuries from the Ancient Greek and Roman Empire’s lyricism, Byzantium’s chants, and the Ottoman Empire’s classical music progressions, by way of multiple migrations, storytelling, wars, myths, tribalism, reconciliations, etc.) In a nutshell,…

  • Music

    R​ü​ü​t – Kirik​ü​ü​t

    R​ü​ü​t hail from Estonia and offer an incredible take on Estonian ethnic music, modernized for the 21st Century, taking in elements of jazz.  The band describes their music this way: “The band is characterized by mystical atmosphere, intricate harmonic, melodic and rhythmic combinations, precision and a common feel. This is what Rüüt’s music is like.” Thanks to our dear friends at Nordic Notes for hipping us to this release a while ago!

  • Music - Qobuz

    Skáld – Huldufólk

    Your browser does not support iframes.    The French collective Skáld come as a revelation to me.  These are Frenchmen who expertly perform Nordic music and imbue it with everything from folk music to metal. From the band’s press release: “As the heirs of the ancient poets known as skalds, the SKÁLD group, with one song after another, tames this folk tradition. We can lose ourselves in the hills of Danish elves, and meet Swedish nymphs, as we listen to the ballad of Herr Mannelig, the tale of a female troll who hopes to become human (by attempting to wed…

  • Music

    Vartra – Basma

    Our beloved friends at CPL-Music have submitted a bizarre and completely engrossing album of ethereal tribal music from Serbia in the form of Vartra.  The band was founded in 2017 by Siniša Gavrić and sisters Ivana and Aleksandra Stošić.  What makes the music so interesting is that it not only draws from Serbian folk themes, but also Vlach themes as well.  The Vlachs are terribly underrepresented in folkloric music, and the chants on this disc serve to remedy this issue.

  • Music

    Divanhana – Zavrzlama

    In January, we had the pleasure of reviewing a track called Ćilim from Bosnian ethno-folk band Divanhana, and now, it’s our pleasure to bring you the rest of the album! Zavrzlama is a collection of sevdah tracks which have a darker, more minor-key quality than what I’m used to from the genre. For my ears, it gives the music an even more sensual tinge than normal. There is a muted joy in tracks like Peno, my favorite song, which reminds me why the Balkans is the place I love more than anywhere else in this world despite the challenges they…

  • Music - Youtube

    Dorota Barová – Dotyk

    Czech vocalist and cellist Dorota Barová is a new name for me, but her rather glorious voice brings up memories of Portuguese singers like Teresa Salgueiro, who you might remember as the lead singer of Madredeus.  Barovà has had an impressive career, as her first album, the award-winning debut “Iluzja” (Anděl Award), propelled her to fame in the Czech indie music scene.  Her sophomore release, Dotyk (Touch), brings a collection of new songs and lyrics authored by Barová, which she recorded in trio with guitarist Miroslav Chyška (member of Illustratosphere, J.A.R. and Sexy Dancers) and bass guitarist Miloš Klápště (known…

  • Music

    The Scorpios – Let’s Go

    The Scorpios are a Sudanese/British Afrobeat band with an incredible pedigree.  Regia Ishag, the band’s singer, is the daughter of the guitarist of one of Sudan’s funkiest bands, The Scorpions (obviously not the German hard-rock band bearing the same name). This new generation band maintains the funkiness of their forefathers and adds jazz, more funk and a more general Afrobeat element to the music.  It’s rapturous and made for the dance floor or the wedding ceremony equally.

  • Music

    Breizh Napoli – Démo

    Two places I have been enamored with for at least half of my life are Brittany in France and Naples, perhaps my favorite Italian city.  Breizh Napoli, as the name clearly indicates, combines both Breton and Neapolitan music seamlessly.  This is a fine demo of choral music that brings out the best of both cultures, and it’s my hope that the band continues to mine this particular strain of folk music.