Serras - Ø (Island)
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GO' Danish Folk Music (

  is the Danish word for island; the title refers to the members of Serras retreating to a quiet island in the Kattegat to record their fourth album. The music they have created in that setting is mostly slow, often quiet, but always intense.

Most of the tunes on this album were penned by band members, both in individual and group efforts. The arrangements are all credited to Serras and that collective effort shines through as is definitely a showcase for the band as a unit. Melodies are handed off between fiddle, saxophone, guitar, and various pairings, but the melodies wouldn't make sense without the groove underneath. It takes all five players merging their talents to make these tunes work.

Elements of traditional Danish folk music, jazz, rock, and blues all come into play during this outing. Aesthetics range from the beautiful to the funky. Electric and acoustic sounds are well-balanced, with guitar effects showing up when they fit, with each player drawing from the right inspiration at the right time.

The album starts off with darker pieces and moves through more contemplative and peaceful moods, often returning to the dark side with distorted guitars and off-kilter rhythms. This emotional range is satisfying, due primarily to the band's intensity which never backs down regardless of the source material, volume, or melodic angularity.

is a well-crafted record that demonstrates outstanding arrangements of folk-inspired material and excellent ensemble playing; it is highly recommended. - Greg Harness

CD available from cdRoots

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CD available from cdRoots

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