Celtic Trance
(PARAS/Owl, 1999)

In the album Celtic Trance, Dagda blends the sound of electronic music with ancient instruments to take hold of the Celtic experience. The result is a melodic, twisting and energetic ride.

The group is made of six players: vocals by Dav McNamara, Sharon Murphy and Denise Douglas, whistles by Roddy Monks, and keyboards by Reg Keating and Phillip O'Reilly. Bill Fleming adds his voice to the spoken word pieces within the music.

Reminiscent of groups like Enigma and Oracle, Dagda takes us through one melody to another, blurring the tracks into one path. Their poetic lyrics, such as those that explore the mystery behind the warrior goddess Morrigana, are minimal at times -- but they can strike right to the heart of the listener.

I particularly like the melding of the wind instruments into the music, giving it a mix of the tones that are reminiscent of ancient tribal music. There are also points where the music goes to a more modern level, swinging into gear with drum machines and sampled keyboard affects.

Musically, on the whole, this is a good melodic piece with solid techno blending well against old themes. The beat tracks keep your foot tapping, and the hypnotic melodies will delight your ear. This is a great album for those looking to find an outlet for their Celtic interests, yet staying within the realm of modern tastes.

[ by Charlie Gebetsberger ]

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