Soundchecks Music Reviews
CDTrax 214, Greentrax/
Astor Place 2000-1
CDBOG 002, Peatbog Records
Isle of Skye 2005
FAERIE STORIES / CROFTWORK
reviews by J.C. Hartley
Set the controls for the heart of the ceilidh.
"What's this then," asked my son, "Celtic Funk?" as the horns horned in, on The Anthropologist, about four tracks into Croftwork. It's as good a description as any, but it doesn't tell the whole story. I bought these albums on the basis of a great gig report in The Cumberland News, and I wasn't disappointed; hell I bought a Shooglenifty CD on a CalMac ferry coming back from the Isle of Harris just because Iain Banks mentioned them in Raw Spirit.
What the Peatbog Faeries do is lay down some tracks, some traditional airs and some new stuff, on the Isle of Skye, then whisk everything into the studio where it comes out lush and romantic or techno or ambient or acid tartan dance. Faerie Stories is more traditional, that is a track starts as a wee jig or a reel or a pibroch then takes off into new glens; Croftwork takes that expectation but funks it up big time almost right away; think slap bass and bagpipes.
To enjoy these discs it would help if you had some feeling for traditional music but are not averse to having your expectations put through the mixer. One track would make a great James Bond theme, think what David Arnold did on Shaken And Stirred, and I'm sure at one point I heard strains of The Clash's arrangement of Willie Williams' Armagideon Time but that kind of association is rare this is unique stuff. Buy some and jig around your kitchen.
for PIGASUS Press