Berroguetto,
Viaxe por Urticaria
(Boa, 1999)

The first time I listened to Viaxe por Urticaria (Journey Through Urticaria), I felt an irresistible urge to visit those lands that had served as inspiration and musical source for such an incredible album. After that very first listening, probably more than 80 have followed, each of them new and enriching, inviting one to enjoy and discover new colours and hidden harmonies, but I still remember the excitement of getting into a very different musical world. It was a weird sensation -- notes that were able to trigger imagination and push me into new places that I haven't been before.

In an attempt to look for words to describe this album, there's not too much space for sadness and disillusionment: it shines upon anything else. Its music is uplifting, full of energy, beautiful, positive, optimistic and powerful. Of course, that's just a personal view. Maybe, there's time for broken hearts in the music and especially in the lyrics, but after listening to the whole album (because it's not easy just to play a couple of songs in your CD player) I've found myself more than once jumping and playing an imaginary -- pipe? Or whatever....

This is Berroguetto's second album, after a very successful debut, Navicularia, and there's no doubt that they are heading forward, bravely and with a lot of ideas, but also with a solid knowledge of their own tradition. That's what they already did in their first album, too: use tradition to go forward and develop great new music and, definitely, in this second album they get even further. Guadi Galego's voice claims a more important role, because her voice is just so beautiful that I could cry and not be ashamed about that at all, especially because those tears would mean that I'm happy to be alive and kicking to enjoy it.

The best and most experimental folk musicians in Galicia got together for this recording. These talented players are curious and always looking for new places to go with their traditional sound. It is really astonishing how they arrange their songs: each voice is carefully placed and, at the same time, it sounds fresh and vibrant. In many occasions, the whole band is used as a rhythmical accompaniment of the main melody; melodic instruments are used just to pace music. And it's then when you find yourself jumping! Because when they do this, the whole band sounds so powerful and energetic that you want to jump with the music.

For Viaxe por Urticaria they have composed nine new songs and arranged a couple of traditional songs with a strong Galician influence, and more. In these 11 songs the listener will find many different tempos and moods, and each of them is really great. Folk music is not an easy world, and Berroguetto is very aware that it is difficult to compose folk music that sounds new and appealing.

Although I'm waiting eagerly for more albums, I do appreciate that they release new material just when they think that they have new things to say and share. Three albums in eight years should mean something like that.

In the liner notes they talk about a book and a utopian world. This book and those reflections were the background and inspiration for them to compose this album. I'm glad (and surprised) they got such a result.

Berroguetto is a very special group and this is a very special album.

- Rambles
written by Daniel Berlanga Ramos
published 17 July 2004



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