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Mercedes Peón
Resistencia, Spain (

With a piercing shriek and a wail of the gaita, Mercedes Peón launches her first solo effort into the stratosphere. While her deep rooted understanding of the folk traditions of Galicia and its neighbors is crystal clear, and her powerful commanding voice is always at the center of the music, it is her passionate forward looking energy that will capture you and keep you spellbound throughout all eleven tracks of this remarkable recording.

"Non Me Mires"
Peón can create a techno-trancy groove in songs like "Sombra e Luz," with its North African whirly-gig feel, but the electronics are always sublimated in service to the deeper folk roots. This is one of the major achievements of Isué, the creative fusion of technology and heritage; the drum machine meshes with the pandeiretas and the synthesizer lays down with the bagpipe with neither a sense of suppression or pandering. "Serea," is a masterpiece of this method, where worlds of sound are forged together for one purpose, to carry the voice. Which sounds are "natural" and which are electronically created or enhanced is irrelevant; the beauty of the lyrics is the primary concern.

Peón is equally comfortable with a minimalist approach. "Marabilla (Wonder)," recorded in a church and full of open space and wide-eyed wonder, is simply the singer and an accordion. It's an exercise in total restraint and is absolutely successful. Later, Peon roars through bagpipe, bass and drum romps in the best folk rock tradition, always in her unique and determined way, and with a sensitive sense of production that never cuts into the energy to be trendy or cute. Peon's music is often rough-hewn and raw, never clever or contrived, and always distinctive. - Cliff Furnald

This CD is available from cdRoots

Song in Real Audio: "Non Me Mires"
©2000 Resistencia Music, Spain, used by permission

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