So what have we here? A 30 minute EP of Eastern European folk music, that's what! Tempted? You should be.
This EP is essentially a collaboration between the eccentric accordian/violin duo A Hawk and a Hacksaw and a Hungarian folk outfit named The Hun Hangar ensemble. The music they have created together is a joy to behold.
From the very opening of the CD the instrumentation and standard of musicianship is utterly splendid. We have trumpets, tubas, fiddles, clarinet and accordian, often played at dizzying speeds. Foot-stomping tune after foot-stomping tune is churned out, all minor chords and exhilirating tempo changes. I played this to my mother at a family Sunday lunch and she was entranced - expressing a desire to get up and dance around the kitchen!
The 8 tunes here are pretty much flawless, and played with a lot of love. My current personal faves are "Oriental Hora", a sinister accordian waltz, and "Romanian Hora and Bulgar", which mutates from a downtempo funereal lament into a thigh-slapping wedding party fiddle-fest! Music to get your heart beating,folks.
This is doubtless the best thing A Hawk and a Hacksaw have released thus far. Where on previous releases their music was always interesting but seemed to go off on too many tangents, THIS is a coherent body of work. It's also riotously entertaining! If you are curious enough to be reading this review, I implore you to make a purchase. And make it quick! - This is an extremely limited release.
TRULY EUPHORIC MUSIC.
on 30 June 2007
Its hard to explain and even harder to understand how much I struggled with A Hawk and A Hacksaw, I tried so hard to fall in love with them & The Way The Wind Blows album, the one that so many people raved about, the one that was included in so many end of year polls, and rather highly too, yet it never really struck the chord, just like Beirut whatever everyone else was seeing was passing me by, I was probably staring right at it but couldn't see for looking. So its comes as quite a surprise that the follow up that has scarcely been mentioned, I've yet to see any hype on the forums from the very same people that championed The Way The Wind Blows, has had such an instant appeal to me. Each track warm and inviting like an evening round a fire snowed in in a Hungarian log cabin, accordions and all sorts of weird instruments at the ready, taking in the Amelie soundtrack, the most mariachi parts of Calexico along the way and much beer from silver tankards, overflowing as they clash together in pure ecstasy. Let this soundtrack your next Hungarian disco.