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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...relaxed Irish crossover that never bores..., 8 Oct 2010
Mr. H "Mr H" (Embra) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Soisín (Audio CD)
This album seems to have been released a few months ago, but it's getting a bit of a promo push / rerelease sort of thingy just now. It's actually the ninth studio album from Irish folk / fusion band Kila, a band who've been on the go for nigh on twenty years. Now I'm no expert on their back catalogue, but according to people who know about this sort of thing "Soisin" is a wee bit different from their previous releases.

Whereas their earlier albums had a bit of oomph about them, this concept album is a largely reflective set of instrumentals, inspired by an Irish woman who became a Buddhist monk. I say instrumental, but that's because there aren't any words. However, you will find vocal noises used as part of the instrumentation, as well as a wilfully perverse approach to non-musical sounds. That's when they're not busy strumming / bashing / squeaking on just about every instrument you could possible imagine from uilleann pipes, whistles, bodhran, guitar, flute, harmonica, cello, accordion and others.

It's a firm move into the arena of the risibly named World music field, something that normally irritates me, but the myriad of influences that have went into tunes like 'The Kissing Gate', 'The Bearna Waltz', 'Katy's Tune' and Chun Na Farraige Sios' actually gel together, rather than being lumpy add ons. It's a very mellow offering, so I wouldn't come here looking for a hooch and a holler, instead it's an album for recharging your batteries to.

Thankfully, it never topples over into the nefarious world of chill-out, but sometimes you need to calm doon a bit, and take some time out. Something that this is perfect for.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The mellow side to Kíla, 14 July 2010
This review is from: Soisín (Audio CD)
Inspired by an Irish woman who became a Buddhist monk in Japan (her given name 'Soshin' has been written in Irish as 'Soisín'), this latest album finds Kíla in a much more introspective mood than the fast-paced 'Gambler's Ballet'. There are no lyrics to any of the songs beyond wordless calls and sighs, and there are found-sounds scattered throughout (a dog barks in the distance on one track). They also add to their increasingly wide range of instruments with objects, such as a squeaking gate (an idea more akin to Einsturzende Neubauten than an Irish folk group).

Kíla have made a well-deserved name for themselves as a group that revels in their Irish/Gaelic identity whilst reaching out to other cultures around the world. In 'Soisín', the music has hints of its Japanese inspiration, but it is an album that brings to mind those moments when you retreat from the world altogether.

A chill-out album? Perhaps. It's not as boisterous as some of their others, but it's a special thing. Half-way through listening to it for the first time I thought: I'm glad I'm alive to hear this.

Spléachadh isteach i bhflaithis Dé an ceol.
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Soisín by Kila (Audio CD - 2010)
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