• Music

    Romowe Rikoito – UKA

    This is the latest from Prussian/Russian neofolk band Romowe Rikoito.  The music is heavy, based on the neofolk paradigm, of course, but what sets this apart is the reconstructed Old Prussian lyrics, something the band is passionate about transmitting.

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    The Henry Girls – A Time To Grow

    More wonderful news from friends!  CPL-Music will be releasing a folk album of Irish Americana by The Henry Girls.  From the label’s press release: “The three McLaughlin sisters, Karen, Lorna, and Joleen, once again prove on their seventh studio album “A Time To Grow” that they belong to the leading folk ensembles of the Emerald Isle with heavenly, multi-part harmony vocals and their fresh, modern approach. The musicians aren’t fond of sticking to old conventions: they have a lot of fun crossing genre boundaries, charmingly flirting with pop, bluegrass, and Americana sounds, all while keeping a keen eye on the…

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    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…

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    Trio Mandili – Psalm 50

    There will be no reviews either today or tomorrow as Orthodox Christians observe Christmas Eve and the Nativity on what was always the Ecumenical Church Calendar until the devising of the modern Gregorian Calendar, so for those who hold to the Councils, today is December 24.  We wish you a Merry Christmas (again), and leave you with today’s selection, a hymn of wailing by Saint King David by the Georgian folk group, Trio Mandili.  Be well.

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    Enda Reilly – A Dublin Farewell

    2023 was a magnificent year for music releases, but a harsh one for those whom we lost.  The latest major artist we lost was The Pogues’ frontman, Shane MacGowan, who died on November 30th.  Folk singer Enda Reilly participated in a procession through Dublin in Shane’s honor and was moved to set a poem he penned to music.  I have a feeling that Shane would have enjoyed it. That closes 2023, dear friends.  We begin again tomorrow.  Happy New Year!

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    Johanna Juhola – A Brighter Future

    What a joyous release this is!  Accordion-based music out of Finland is just what the doctor ordered for our chilly Beijing day.  Johanna Juhola is one of many incredible artists on the Nordic Notes imprint who have blown my mind this year.  Imagine a collection ranging from traditional music melded with progressive, jazz, and perhaps a pinch of tango thrown into the mix.  One of 2023’s most charming releases.

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    Fabiano Do Nascimento – Mundo Solo

    The indubitable Far Out Records have produced what might be my favorite record of 2023, a guitar album by Brazilian guitarist and fellow Los Angeleno Fabiano do Nascimiento.  I’ll let the label’s crack promo team describe this absolute beauty of a record below: “Adopting Hermeto Pascoal’s concept of Universal Music, a rejection of nationalistic tendencies in order to express all of one’s musical influences all at once, Fabiano avoided leaning too heavily on any particular musical language, without denying his own musical roots. After studying classical piano as a child, the Rio de Janeiro native discovered the guitar aged 10.…

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    Cristina Godoroja – Ciob​ă​naș Cu Oile: Songs From Moldova and Romania

    Antonovka Records, once based in Russia but now ensconced in Moldova, continues to release some of the most seminal music to ever come out of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and their reach seems to keep expanding.  This album covers the work of traditional singer Cristina Godoroja, an ethnomusicologist and singer based in Moldova’s capital, Chișinău.  The works hail from Bessarabia and also feature Romanian-language songs.  A worthy addition to any world music collection.