Manuel Luna y Brena la Música
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Manuel Luna y Brena la Música
Papelería rocío (Objetos de escritorio)
Resistencia (

cd cover Cantabrian singer and folk arranger Manuel Luna recorded Papelería rocío in 1988, an album of folk song and dance that takes on new life in a 2004 reissue with the addition of four freshly recorded tracks. One characteristic vocal form in Cantabria is the round, where the chorus alternates with the lead singer, as on "Canta, Compañeru"; the romance ballad is another, a most haunting example being "Manolo Mío"; processionals such as "Picayos 88" and "Picayos 2004" represent a third. Instrumentation includes accordion, hurdy gurdy, fiddles, flute, dulzaina, gaitas, guitar, requinto, double bass, bass guitar, and percussion.

While traditional elements remain prominent, this is more than an effort to freeze a genre in time, as evident in the use of sequencer and digital effects, along with North and West African hand percussion. The untutored ear may classify this as a kind of "Celtic" sound, and the connections are there, but the repertoire and cultural perspective are decidedly local. Close your eyes and give "La Cambera" or the title track a listen; Luna and company capture something quite bracing and primordial from this corner of the ancient European realm. - Michael Stone

CD available from cdRoots

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