Frigg - Spontaani Vire
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Spontaani Vire
both are self-produced titles from Finland

cd cover These two young Finnish bands are among the latest to come from the small but vital neo-traditional Scandinavian music scene that is creating "folk music for the future."

Frigg's fiddle sound is sometimes reminiscent of Finland's venerable JPP, but elsewhere their sound is quieter -- putting them a bit closer to the world of classical or chamber music. Still, even with their sweet harmonies, the seven-member band's rhythmic allegiance is with the folk-dance tradition: their songs adhere to the brisk, regular pacing dances require. The group's core lineup of fiddles, guitar, double bass and mandolin gives the group a lovely but lithe sound.

Though some traditionalists worry that conservatory-trained musicians will make dry and soulless music, Frigg's Sibelius studies seem to have given the music a beautiful subtlety and an array of finely wrought textures.

cd cover The four members of Spontaani Vire on the other hand, venture further from the folk tradition scene. With vocals and keyboards (including accordion, harmonium and synthesizer), the group's sound is denser then Frigg's.

While some of Spontaani Vire's songs have the metronomic pulse of dance music like the ever-popular Finnish version of the tango, the group also delves into tunes with a wide range of character. "Pieni Morsiusmarssi (Small Wedding March)" is warm and lovely; "TW" is an edgy, quirky waltz; "Saaristolaissottiisi (The Archipelago Schottische)" goes through a number of dynamic changes, not unlike a tango work by Astor Piazzolla or fellow Finn Maria Kalaniemi; "Siriuksen Lapset (The Children of Sirius)" ends the album, an original composition that is a spare and modern.

Spontaani's Kaahu is a creative remaking of traditional material and instrumentation with an unmistakeable contemporary sensibility. - Marty Lipp

CDs are available at cdRoots

All audio (p)(c)2002/2003 by the artists and used with their permission

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