wed 28/06/2017

Nordic music

Reissue CDs Weekly: Wigwam

Over 1972 to 1975, Finland staged a small-scale invasion of Britain. A friendly one, it was confined to music. First, the progressive rock band Tasavallan Presidentti came to London in May 1972 and played Ronnie Scott’s. The Sunday Times’ Derek...

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Albums of the Year: Mikko Joensuu - Amen 1

Five new albums released over the year have dominated 2016: Marissa Nadler’s Strangers (May), Mikko Joensuu’s Amen 1 (June), Jessica Sligter’s A Sense of Growth (July), Arc Iris’s Moon Saloon (August) and Wolf People’s Ruins (November). Next year,...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Iceland Airwaves 2016

On the final night of Iceland Airwaves 2016, Polly Jean Harvey and her band are ranged in a line just inside the edge of the stage constructed inside Valshöllin, a sports hall south of Reykjavík’s city centre. The festival’s five days have climaxed...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Agnes Obel

Agnes Obel’s new album Citizen of Glass is released next week. Conceptually underpinned by a fascination with the German idea of the gläserner menschen or gläserner bürger – the glass citizen – its ten compositions examine privacy, the nature of...

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CD: The Amazing - Ambulance

A Venn diagram connecting the diffuse, distanced and drifting, The Amazing's Ambulance is hard to latch onto. Its first five tracks are etiolated cousins of the  Midlake of Antiphon, while also calling to mind Sydney dream-popsters The Church...

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theartsdesk in the Faroe Islands: G! Festival 2016

Familiar words pepper the lead item on the 9am radio news: "Brexit", "Theresa May", "Boris Johnson". Yet the bulletin is delivered in the first language of the 49,000-population Faroe Islands. The self-governing region of Denmark may be a remote...

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CD: Hedvig Mollestad Trio - Black Stabat Mater

Thirty-three minutes is not long for an album. What actually counts is not length but what is said and its impact. Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad Trio know what they are doing and over Black Stabat Mater’s 33 minutes they do it with such clarity, force...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Folque, Undertakers Circus

The names may be unfamiliar, but Folque and Undertakers Circus are as good as better-known bands. Despite being musical bedfellows neither Norwegian band is as esteemed as, say, Trader Horne and Trees or Colloseum and Lighthouse. Folque issued their...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Death and Vanilla

Last May, Malmö trio Death and Vanilla issued the To Where the Wild Things are album and it seemed they had arrived as a fully formed post-Broadcast proposition, harmoniously fusing vintage influences like the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Italian...

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theartsdesk in Denmark: Ambition and Attack in Aalborg and Aarhus

Denmark is casting a shadow in a way it has not done before. The international success of Copenhagen’s Lukas Graham is unprecedented. While Aqua, The Ravonettes, Efterklang and Trentemøller are amongst the great Danes who have made international...

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Just in From Scandinavia: Nordic Music Round-Up 15

Is language a barrier to international recognition? Is English necessary to make waves worldwide? Musicians from the African continent and South America regularly perform in their native tongue beyond the borders of their home countries. But often...

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CD: Dungen - Allas Sak

From its title-track opening cut to the final moments of its closer “Sova”, Allas Sak is recognisably a Dungen album. The musical dynamic between the Swedish quartet’s members and their collective sound is so distinctive that they effectively...

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