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Untamed: Next Generation Celtic
Various Artists
Label: Narada World

If you still harbor the illusion that highland pipes and penny whistles are all you need to know about Celtic music, you've gotta listen to this CD. I remember being floored when I first heard Kila's "Tine Lasta" and this should do the same to anyone uninitiated to the sound of the worldly Celt. The four groups represented here╬Kila, Peatbog Faeries, Shooglenifty, and Lunasa╬are on the cutting edge of incorporating beat, electronic sounds, and other musical influences.

Kila's forte is energetic, furious instrumental arrangements. Lunasa, named after a festival in honor of the ancient Celtic god of the arts, uses deft instrumentation with an emphasis on rhythm╬often provided by a well-strummed guitar. Peatbog Faeries╬besides having a truly evocative name╬are the most liberal in adding strong dance/trance beats and atmospheric sounds to their music. And Shooglenifty (from the word └niftyö added to the word "shoogle"╬to move or agitate) have also coined the term "acid croft" for their music╬"August" is a slow, languid, trippy track that verges on funk╬except you don't usually hear that much fiddling in funk.

If you like the idea of experimental Celtic music but find too much tradition drained from AfroCelt Sound System, give Untamed a listen.

©Scott Stevens--2/28/01

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