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Lang Linken
Knorifas
GO' Danish Folk Music (www.folkmusic.dk)

cd cover This Danish trio has been around since the early '70's, and the years show in the easy camaraderie of this release. Multi-instrumentalists all, they have the impeccable rhythmic tightness that only comes with years of musical communication. They have developed a sharp, buoyant sound that begs the listener to get up and dance. In fact, these guys have been together so long, now their grown daughters are joining in with some fine vocals. Sofie Aagaard and Karen Mose have clear, strong voices and an open good humor in their delivery that matches their fathers' élan.

Listen!
Fiddle, hurdy-gurdy, accordion, Jew's harp, lots of percussion, and a few other surprises make up their sonic tapestry. The tunes lean heavily toward the traditional, including polskas, waltzes, and ballads. One highlight is the zwiefache "German Gladensvend," a traditional German form in which the time signature flits back and forth at the musicians' whim between polka and waltz time. This one is newly composed by fiddler Poul Lendal, and it's a drony delight, with hurdy-gurdy and dulcimer. Another strong track is "Drengen I Præstgården/Karoline," a pair of songs that make the listener wish for a translation. The daughters sing the first in a rhythmic back-and-forth over deep percussion, and then the men do a whispered rap of the second, a bawdy ballad, over a squeaky approximation of "scratching."

The real strength of Lang Linken is their obvious enjoyment of the music. Even the most tender of waltzes is delivered with a wistful smile. The more driving tunes have a fun, raucous energy. They make the most of the inherent squawky, wheezy, drony nature of their instruments, playing up the noisiness with great glee. A fun, affectionate release. - Peggy Latkovich

Audio ©2001 Lang Linken, used by permission

CD available at cdRoots


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