Thursday, December 11, 2014

CD Review: Stranniki's 'Light Moon'

Light Moon
Sketis Music

Stranniki is a Russian folk group that resurrects Slavic folklore songs by utilizing an array of folk music instruments and ancient melodies. The vocals are often arranged like chants with several singers singing at once in a choral fashion. The result is a sound akin to Finland's Varttina. The instruments are performed in a very artistic manner by paying close attention to historic styles and folk arrangements. Besides vocals, there is a gusli, okarina, jaleika, whistle, bansuri, bawu, kalyuka, quena, kaval, gajde, guitar, bass, drums, and assorted percussion. The contemporary instruments are a great companion to the traditional instruments. Each tune is fresh and inventive. There are only forty-two minutes of music on the album, but it is never boring. Fans of folk music, Slavic and Russian vocal music, traditional instruments, and contemporary Russian music will love the history presented by Stranniki. ~ Matthew Forss

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