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Unwired: Europe




Künstler: Diverse Rough Guide
Komponist: Diverse Europa
Künstler: Various
Illustrator: Wildcat


It's true there's a renaissance of acoustic music, not just in Europe, but across the globe. However, while many of the performers are younger, it's not quite a new phenomenon -- it's been building for the best part of a decade now. As this disc shows, it's not confined to any particular corner of the continent, or even any age group, ranging from the young twentysomethings of Belgium's Läis to veteran artists like Breton Gabriel Yacoub and Márta Sebestyén & Muzsikas from Hungary. There's some stirring music on this, particularly the material from the Balkans, although it's impossible not to warm to the beautiful voices of Cristina Branco and Eleftheria Arvantaki. Mairi MacInnes offers excellent mouth music, although you have to think that "10,000 Miles," the contribution from England's Eliza Carthy, has been over-compiled by now. Pepe Habichuela proves that traditional flamenco is vibrant, while the contribution from Hedningarna isn't the Swedish group's best acoustic material. It's pleasant to hear Altan, but you have to wonder about the compiler's claim that the group was the first Irish folk band signed to a major label -- surely the Chieftains with Columbia managed that well before Altan was a big name. Still, it's about the music, and that's consistently excellent, with exposure to several lesser-known names to complement the bigger acts. ~ Chris Nickson