Sunday, 22 June 2008

THULE MOON (traditional musick)



Original Issue: 2003 Deserted Village (DV007)

Margot-meter: 4 moons / 5

1 In Aimsir Bhaint An Fhéir (2:40)
2 Spencer The Rover (3:41)
3 Le Bon Marain (3:33)
4 The Blackthorn Tree (2:08)
5 Twa Corbies (1:39)
6 Is Iomaidh Coiscéim Fada (3:24)
7 Sweet Thames Flow Softly (4:58)
8 Time To Go Home (1:59)

from The Unbroken Circle:

Released by Deserted Village who have no contact with the artists, this album is an enigma. It documents travels by a UK folk band around the UK, northern France, Channel Islands and the isles and captures their performances in both English and Gaelic.

It's a highly traditional sounding release but one with a feeling of strangeness running through it's heart as all the best folk music does. There is a feeling of authenticity, of getting back to the music's source, of pretence stripped away. Those searching for lost music that carries on their enjoyment of The Wicker Man soundtrack would do well to look here, the same feeling of strangeness and innocence rises amongst the songs.

'In Aimsir Bhaint an Fheir' introduces banjo and guitar supporting a heady baritone male vocal singing in Gaelic. A Gaelic pipe or possibly flute adds counter melody over the top and gradually accordion is woven in. It's already a magical concoction, enticing and vibrant in its mixture of old and new. As more countermelodies are added on piano and guitar, it swells to become a beautiful and moving ode.

This gives way to a communal non-accompanied version of the traditional song 'Spencer the Rover' and then into 'La Bon Marain', a deeply evocative folk ballad starting with sultry flute and guitar. This song has excellent female harmony vocals over the male baritone lead that further enhances the atmosphere.

'The Blackthorn Tree' is a banjo and massed vocal song before the unaccompanied vocal of 'Twa Corbies'. 'Is Lomaidh Coisceim Fads' is another Gaelic ballad with haunting siren harmony vocals. As you listen, you feel some connection to something unknown is being made; it's a haunting listen. 'Sweet Thames Flow Softly' is a song in the round of vocals and sounds like a hundred years old field recording. Peter Ackroyd, the author would adore this seemingly magical invocation of the river's powers in support of love.

Last song 'Time To Go Home' comes too soon and sounds the most conventional of them all at first, although of course this is relatively. Here the sound is like a forgotten seventies soundtrack, the group are together, massed male and female vocals, horns calling, whip rhythms, hand drums, swirling fiddles, nature animals. It moves from delicate ballad to ritual incantation in thirty seconds and ends the album on a somewhat unsettling note.

This is wonderful, important music, the kind we established this site for. It's very inexpensive and absolutely essential for fans of the genre.

Mark Coyle


Margot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritchie said...

absolute magic!! many thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, there's nothing else to say. Especially the female voices ;)

barbelith said...

thanks Margot - looking forward to listening to this

Anonymous said...

seriously lovely...thank you

Anonymous said...

Dear Margot , a host of many thanks for sharing this charming little number that in all of my honesty can be described as , "a lovely farm life" aye !!!!!!

abeattie23 said...


I used to be on your mail list but I am off.....can i be back on...many thanks

megan said...

This looks wonderful, thanks!

greenrabbit said...

Lovely like Nature :)

councilflat said...

Very nice, have to skip past one or two tracks but the rest is wonderful!
Thank you