When progrock collapsed in the late 70s and the largely cretinous but satisfyingly rebellious punk movement arose to kick the corpse over, I figured that was pretty much it for music. The trogs had taken over, devolution was the order of the day, and come what may, it'd be a while before anything really significant got its head above water again. That turned out to be so, but, as the dust settled, we found that the punkers had killed themselves off in astonishingly short gory order, much to the amusement of the hippies they'd reviled for their own so-called excesses. Heh! Once everyone got their bearings again, no one could've predicted that we'd be in for what has now come to hold sway: the superiority of the independent movement, a new musical vaguard eschewing major labels in order to get the house back in order in terms of clear creativity and unalloyed distinction. Asgeir & Mo show this quite clearly in Danza de Andalucia.
A coalition of Norwegian, Serb, Colombian, and Spaniard, this ensemble can be accused of nothing if not multi-disciplinary overachievement. The chops displayed are astounding and fresh, a blend of old and new with exhilarating applications. In fact, here, take a listen to their soft side in a song that places itself among Ancient Future, the Windham Hill'ers, and bands like Penguin Cafe Orchestra:
Simply marvelous. That's Dine Hender i Mine (Your Hands in Mine) and there are several cuts equally gentle while just as dazzling. Ah, but there's even more in the way of classico-gypsy whirlwinds in heady sonic attire, old country regalia brought up to date in applications that would make Slavic grandparents smile broadly and get up to cut a rug like they were young'uns once more. There's even the flamenco dancer Noelia Sabarea among the roster as Asgeir Aaroen favors nimble-fingered lyrical flamenco stylings in his guitar approach, holding deep respect for the genius of the mode. Thank the gods and goddesses, then, that he teamed up with Bjarte Mo, who flourishes a violin as though rosin flowed through his veins. The interplay of the two becomes the core of the band and is a source of liquid fire as the accompanying members round things out beautifully through 13 entrancing cuts.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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