We were a massive fan of Firecracker's first Mac-Talla Nan Craeg release, a record that curve-balled our expectations on the label to release good house bangers via an archaeological dig of Scotland's ancient landscape. One can only assume that participating artists Hoch Ma Toch, Other Lands and Lord Of The Isles have been up on the highlands drinking more whiskey as they've now got The Sorrow of Derdrilu to give us, another sound collage created through found sound, synths and traditional song study. They claim this one is more narratively driven, based on particular ancient tales rather than inferred from simply hanging out in the countryside.
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Scotland. Good isn't it? If you haven't been there I'd recommend it. It's not like England at all - a very different entity. Mac-Talla Nan Creag is a collective of musicians who visit Scotland's archaeological sites, gather round, drink whiskey and get inspired to make music that reflects their surroundings. This is the second LP they've made and it draws inspiration from the Dun Deardail fort in Glen Nevis and the stories that surround it.
They use all kinds of instruments from finger picked acoustic guitars, found percussion, electronics and squeezeboxes to make a series of compositions which, though they vary in sound, have a uniting thread to them which seems to come from the evocative thrill of being outside discovering somewhere mysterious. Though they have moments of drone and more out there electronic sound construction, there are some rather beautiful folk songs here sung in voices perfectly suited to the material. Sometimes they loop various voices together in kind of Gregorian chants but other songs just have flickers of voices.
Some such music could seem a little po-faced but there's a joy to the proceedings. A joy of the various forms of music it utilises, a joy of the outdoors. It's an anything goes concept which can veer from slowly meditative pieces to intense - trance like bursts of music. It's like a detailed tapestry of sound invoking at various points the music of the likes of Richard Youngs, Boards of Canada, James Yorkston, Brian Eno, Ian William Craig, Aphex Twin, Alexander Tucker, James Blackshaw and almost everything in between.
9/10 kristofer coleman 7th February 2019
I totally agree with el Clinto on this one.if you ever get the chance to visit the glens of Scotland you won't be disappointed.it doesn't matter what your nationality is.as a child I enjoyed the rural delights of Cumbria,in fact I spent most of my formative years on caravan holidays in England and I found the place and the people to be kind, welcoming and friendly.
I don't subscribe to this independence 'us and them' mentality.being a twat doesn't discriminate geographically.
Getting back to the music, groundbreaking it isn't,good it is (as Yoda might word it).
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- The Sorrow Of Derdriu by Mac-Talla Nan Creag
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