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Errobi - Ametsaren Bidea  CD (album) cover

AMETSAREN BIDEA

Errobi

 

Prog Folk

3.79 | 23 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
4 stars This is the only Errobi album I have heard to-date, but from what I understand this was quite a departure from their earlier works. If so, I can only believe this was an improvement, because the sounds on this album are really innovative and utterly beautiful. Like their brethren Haizea these guys came from a Basque tradition, but the sounds here are even more pronounced and distant from anything resembling traditional folk music than Haizea ever managed.

The opening track is brief and jazz-like discordant instrumental, but it belies what comes next in the form of the seventeen minute title track, which is flowing and spacey and manages to demonstrate only marginal folk tendencies. The sound is anchored by a fat bass line and sound effects, accompanied at times by harmonized male vocals and just a pinch of percussion. This gives way to a heavier drum and electric guitar passage where the guitarist takes a wild ride between alternating solo and harmonized vocals, with the keyboards taking more of a back seat. This is a radical departure from traditional folk, and bears little resemblance to anything folk-like I’ve heard from this region before. Eventually the guitar and drums take over, moving back and forth between heavy and acoustic sections with the bass all the while lounging in the background. There are jazz influences in the arrangement, but overall the flute and acoustic guitar keep the music grounded somewhat in folk territory.

The following “Andere” is also heavy and ambitious, but here the guitar and vocals take an even more prominent role, and there’s an extended drum solo that segues to horns (synthetic I think) for an even more jazz-leaning composition.

Finally the closing “Oraino” comes and the tempo slows down considerably with acoustic guitar and soft percussion accenting a ballad-like vocal passage. A mellow and seductive end to a great album.

I’m looking forward to hearing more of Errobi’s back catalog as the opportunity arises, and if their other albums are anything like this one, they should be excellent indeed. A truly inspiring album, well worth seeking out and highly recommended to fans of world music and ambitious modern folk. Four stars.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 4/5 |

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