New Reviews: August 10, 2001

Sorten Muld

Denmark's Sorten Muld combine their native Danish roots and blend them with the latest electronic beats. Contemporary sequencers, electronics and drums merge with traditional bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, fiddle, flute, jews harp and percussion. Sporadic vocals by Ulla Bendixsen complete the group's unique sound. Lyrically, they borrow ancient Nordic ballads and place them in a contemporary context. Overall, the songs have a rather loose, but identifiable structure. In the end, Sorten Muld successfully blends electronic sounds and trip-hop dance beats with the traditional sounds of Denmark's rich and varied history. III is yet another high quality Nordic recording from NorthSide.

Blue Ridge Legacy
Hobart Smith

Hailing from Saltville, Virginia, Hobart Smith was a talented fiddler, banjo player, pianist, singer and guitarist that performed old-time/bluegrass music from the Appalachian mountain region of the Southern United States between 1915 and 1964. Blue Ridge Legacy features 31 original ballads, reels and songs of old-time music transcribed and remastered from field recordings. Fleming Brown, Paul Clayton, Peter Siegel, Moses Asch and Alan Lomax were some of ethnomusicologists that carried out the field collection of these songs from 1944-1963. Two rare interviews are also included on this album. All in all, Blue Ridge Legacy contains nearly 70 minutes of music, a detailed biography of Hobart Smith, song and tablature notes and several interviews in an attractive Rounder package. Fans of bluegrass, old-time, folk, roots and dance music will surely enjoy Hobart Smith's Blue Ridge Legacy for many years to come.

Capoeira Mata Um: The Rhythm Of Bahia & The Sound Of The World
The Capoeira Project
Tropical Music

The Capoeira Project is composed of a variety of musicians from Brazil, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti and Morocco. Capoeira is a musical art form of Afro-Brazilian dance and voice. A musical bow called a berimbau serves as the primary instrument in the capoeira. However, other traditional percussion instruments frequently accompany the berimbaus. Capoeira music is so unique, that it cannot be compared with any other form of Brazilian music. Vocals accompany some of the capoeiras. A detailed booklet describes Capoeira music as a local and global phenomenon, as well as, song lyrics and musician information. Over 75 minutes of wonderful dance and percussion music makes Capoeira Mata Um a musical prize for the adventurous listener.

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Reviews by Matthew J. Forss.