Frigg — Oasis (Keidas)
(NorthSide NSD6086, 2005, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01This seven-piece group takes Scandinavian folk music in a slightly different direction than some of their label-mates, adding a hefty dose of American traditional music, notably bluegrass. But they do it with a very modern attitude, and such things as Estonian bagpipes and ancient-sounding modal melodies have a way of lifting you out of Flatt & Scruggs territory. Five of the seven musicians play violin at some point or other; other instruments include acoustic guitar, dobro, mandolin, nyckelharpa, double bass, and a bit of keyboards. It is a truly inspiring listening experience to hear three or four fiddles playing with such precision at such fast tempos, attacking the notes with an almost punkish intensity. While maintaining a tangible connection to traditional styles, the guitar also gives hints of more modern phrasing and techniques. Of course, they do throw in some slow tunes for contrast, including the lovely closer “Peltoniemen Hintriiken Surumarssi” with a lush, elegiac feel; organ and chamber orchestra back the sorrowful bagpipes. Frigg succeed admirably at bringing traditional music into a new century without losing respect for the past.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more