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Mon, 24 Mar 2008

Carpathian ....

Electronic folk? It covers a wide range, doesn't it. You can have same as it always was, except louder. You can have a psychedelic trip or you could have something that resembles the folk tradition with a little electricity more as an afterthought. For purists, there's nothing to be said other than 'bogus!'. For other people there might be something, depending on how it goes.

Joanna Newsom is a pleasant night out in this way and London's Hush the Many is as well although both are somewhat more complex musically than the folk tradition would allow or maybe it's better to say the academic folk tradition. Still, folk is more (or less) than just what folk are listening to at any given time. It has historic roots in both style and substance and the style is understood to be simple. When you start to hyphenate, anything goes of course, and the only thing the performer is really interested in is whether anyone will come along.

Hadamansky bill themselves as electronic folk from the Carpathians. What could that mean? The punters waiting for the gig to start weren't much of a clue as they included punks, students, your standard model beer monsters, and quite a few who looked like they'd just arrived from Eastern parts, as well as people who looked like they were after a bit of a knees-up and didn't much care where or what it was as long as it was loud and had a beat.

The five piece (or occasionally six) immediately tell us what they're about when they start playing fast and loud dance music from eons past. It's the celebration of some free moments, maybe even a special event. In the style of gypsy bands, there's quite a lot of skilled and fast trumpet playing as well as electric guitar, bass, drums plus a muscle-bound frontman who looks a little like a modern imagining of Genghis Kahn in a good mood.

After a little of this hell-for-leather stuff they break into more psychedelic things and there's a high standard of play throughout. The change doesn't seem to result in much in the way of raised eyebrows. Beers are being quaffed and people are dancing as best they can in the solid crowd.

So, maybe more for the World bin than the Folk bin and maybe not the thing for sleek urbans either. Thanks to Henning Kuepper for taking us along.

I'd better give Bleepfest Berlin 08 a plug as well. This runs from 8pm or so on Friday 28 March, through Saturday starting about 5pm going until late, and then Sunday is a chill/ambient/BBQ day starting at 2pm and going until 11 or so. There are artists from all over and it's usually a very groovy event - Three Days of Peace, Love, and Electronica!


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