(Go' Danish, 2002)

Five distinguished Danish folk musicians came together to form Instinkt at the Frederiksund Folk Festival in 2000 and launched Hur!, their debut album, at the famous Tonder Festival in 2002. It is immediately apparent listening to this album that musical excellence is at work.

From Soren Korshoj and Louise Vangsgaard on violins, to Malene D. Beck and Vivi di Bap on basses and drums/percussion, respectively, and to the versatile Martin Seeberg on flutes, hurdy-gurdy and viola, this is a band bristling with talent. All five add vocals, too, to create an exciting and contemporary folk music.

Despite the music being clearly based in the Danish/Nordic folk traditions, the whole album has a feeling of modernity and originality, particularly through all the numbers being new compositions by different band members. The opener, "Ben," immediately establishes the attractively upbeat combination of violin, flute, bass and drums. In "Vilde hvide," the drums and vocals combine in an insistent and driving style as elsewhere on the album. Indeed throughout the drums and percussion provide an important dimension to the band in giving the music a modern dance beat.

"Ode til Dollerup Bakker" emphasises the mystical aspects to some of the tracks, too. Lyrical flute playing here combines well with double bass, drums and vocals. "Lulus Mood" also has an attractive flute introduction that, together with a more expansive sound created when the whole band comes in, evokes the natural world and a feeling of mysterious forces behind and beyond it.

The highlight number is "Laekkermasen," which is reminiscent of the modern Celtic sounds of Flook -- especially their acoustic-based dance vibe and Brian Finnegan's flute playing. Altogether on this album the combination of a folk tradition with a modernist sensibility is a successful and memorable approach.

- Rambles
written by Andy Jurgis
published 26 February 2005

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