Exposé Online banner

Hurdy-Gurdy — Prototyp
(NorthSide NSD6084, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Prototyp Cover art

As medieval instruments go, the hurdy-gurdy is uniquely positioned to be effective in a modern setting. Its gritty droning sound fits in well with drums and electronics, a fact that has been somewhat exploited by the band Garmarna. This release finds Garmarna member Stefan Brisland-Ferner teaming up with Totte Mattsson of Hedningarna, another band that has been known to use the instrument. Hurdy-gurdies provide the basis of all the tracks, augmented by both acoustic and electronic percussion, bass and guitar analogs (may be the real thing, may not), electronics, and samples. The energy level is generally high, with hard-driving tempos and aggressive rhythms reminiscent of the heavier material of both bands. Most tunes are based on traditional Swedish melodies or original ones that sound traditional, and the arrangements mix things up in intriguing ways with mangled voices and other sounds. Artfully managed distortion is another key element of the mix, setting the effort apart from many trad/modern hybrids that skew melodic and pretty. There are a few moments of relative calm to interrupt the flow, with spooky atmospheres where you can catch your breath. Prototyp makes a great companion piece to KTU’s 8 Armed Monkey (also reviewed this issue), taking traditional instruments into unexpected modern territory.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Hurdy-Gurdy

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lightshine - Feeling – Lightshine were a mid-70s German band that were fairly well known in their time, gigging heavily and opening for groups such as Hoelderlin, Jane, Colosseum II, and The Scorpions. They self-released...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues