Till the Light of Day

Anders Norudde
both titles NorthSide (www.noside.com)

cd cover Here are two very different but very fresh approaches to Swedish traditional (and not so traditional) music. Ranarim is a quartet of young musicians which includes Sofia Sandén and Ulrika Bodén on vocals, Niklas Roswall on nyckelharpa, and Jens Engelbrecht on acoustic guitar and mandola. The sound is light and stripped-down but by no means insubstantial. Sandén and Bodén's voices are pure and strong, with drony harmonies.
" Bonden och Kraken"
Roswall and Engelbrecht provide a throbbing rhythmic accompaniment. The tones of these traditional ballads are alternately dark, funny, and racy, with themes of sex on the dance floor, vengeful mothers-in-law, orphans, and lists of goat names. The liner notes contain a brief synopsis of each song but the expressiveness of the women's voices make translations almost unnecessary. All of the tracks are delivered with conviction and gusto.

cd cover Multi-instrumentalist Norudde presents twenty-six bare-bones tracks of traditional and original tunes played on Swedish bagpipe, moraharpa (an old form of the nyckelharpa, dating from the sixteenth century), fiddle, and flutes. He has fine technique on all instruments and is able to coax expressive depth out of them despite some of their inherent limitations. Göran "Freddy" Frederickson accompanies him on guitar and bouzouki on a few tracks. Some of the most interesting tunes here are his originals and his unorthodox treatment of traditional material.
"Sur Rada"
"Blĺstrattlĺten" ("Wind-Stuffed Tune") is a Peking opera piece performed on bagpipe. "Digerspolskan" ("Bulky Polska") is a lilting Frederickson original played beautifully on a cheap Indian tourist flute. On "KJK", a polska after Karl-Johan Karlsson, he nearly turns the willow flute, with its extremely limited number of available pitches, into a jazz instrument.

Though modest in scope, both of these releases glow with creative energy. The future of Swedish traditional music is in good hands with Ranarim and Norudde. Peggy Latkovich

At cdroots.com:
Anders Norudde

Audio: all songs traditional, ©2000 Drone Music, Sweden, used by permission

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