Daniel Sandén-Warg and Sigurd Brokke - Rammeslag
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Daniel Sandén-Warg and Sigurd Brokke
Etnisk Musikklubb (etniskmusikklubb.no)

The province Setesdal, in the very south of Norway is known for its rich traditions in silversmithing and folkmusic. Daniel Sandén-Warg (one of the frontmen in the group Harv) is from Sweden, although he has lived in Setesdal since 1998 and has learned both its music and silversmithing traditions. On Rammeslag he plays hardingfele and fiddle. Sigurd Brokke is from Valle in Setesdal and plays the munnharpe (Jew's harp).

Unlike other areas, there are no remains of 3/4 dance or music here. Instead, they play intricate tunes in duple meter; the gangar. After a short foreplay, Daniel Sandén-Warg runs into the tune "Knut Heddis Minne" (In memory of Knut Heddi. His technique is impeccable, with clear, rhythmic ornamentation and great intensity. His playing incorporates microtones in a beautiful way, in consonance with old tradition. Sigurd Brokke's munnharpe is intense too, and his sense of rhythm is fantastic. The dynamic, accentuated playing is exciting to listen to.

The booklet is informative, describing how they discovered the tunes. Both Hallvard T. Bjørgum and recordings of his father Torleiv H. Bjørgum have influenced the duo a lot.

Rammeslag is a well recorded CD, with both the fiddles and the munnharpe showing a wonderful crispness, neither too close, nor too far away, each with a nice airy quality. There's no doubt that these two musicians are deeply rooted in the tradition of Setesdal music; their knowledge and respect for the style and tradition bearers shows us that. Their sublime technique and inspired playing makes this an essential addition to the canon of records from Setesdal, and from Norway, for that matter. - Staffan Jonsson

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