ILGI - Kaza Kapa Debesis (A Goat Climed to the Sky)
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Kaza Kapa Debesis (A Goat Climed to the Sky)
UPE Records (

cd cover Latvia's folk revival is a pretty recent phenomenon, dating from only the early 1980's. It began as a reaction to the Soviet occupation and continued to grow along with the country's independence movement. ILGI was formed at the beginning of the revival by singer/violinist Ilga Reizniece and has gone on to release eight albums. The group uses traditional folk song as a springboard for rock, jazz, and new age experimentation. Using traditional and contemporary instruments, they create a sound that is both fresh and ancient. Each song is like a miniature fable, telling a short but evocative story using imagery from folk culture and the natural world.
The lyrics have a colorful atavistic poetry that says more in a few short verses than many lengthy ballads do. They are set to music that has an anthemic sweep and rock-inspired drive. Vilnis Strods' assertive drumming provides a propulsive underpinning for the mix of hammered dulcimer, bagpipes, fiddle, jaw harp, electric guitar and bass. Each track has a unique personality created by varying mixes of instruments and no fewer than six different vocalists (three of them guests), each with his or her own timbre and take on the music. The sexually suggestive "Es Guleju Maigu Miegu" (I was a light sleeper) is one of the most driving tracks on the release, with fast-paced alternating male and female vocals over swirling fiddle and bagpipe. "Runa Laudis, Ko Runa" (People Are Gossiping) has a quieter, vaguely jazzy 6/8 sweep. Latvia has a fine group of musical ambassadors in this versatile, skilled ensemble. - Peggy Latkovich

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Audio ©2003 UPE, Latvia; used with their permission

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