Balaklava

Wünjo


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Artist:
Wünjo

Title:
Balaklava

Genre:
Un-classified

Musicians:
MusicianInstruments
Geordie Batesviola, percussion, bowed guitar
Trent HumphriesAppalachian duclimer, citern, bodhran, Irish low whistle
Jamie Bundaypercussion, guitar, didjeridu

Format:
CD, Playing time --:-- minutes

Track List:

  1. Gathering - --:--
  2. Boundless Sea - --:--
  3. Krimson Flight - --:--
  4. Thong of the Celts - --:--
  5. Balaklava - --:--

Publisher No.:
publisher not known - number not known

Comments:
Wünjo are a three piece instrumental group from Fremantle, who have been playing around the traps of Fremantle and the festival circuit of Australia for the past couple of years.

This CD (and their live performances) are testament to the quality and pigeonhole-defyingdiversity of original music in our fair city.

The band consists of three talented multi-intrumentalists Geordie Bates: viola, percussion, bowed guitar. Trent Humphries: Appalachian duclimer, citern, bodhran, Irish low whistle. Jamie Bunday: percussion, guitar, didgeridoo.

Between them they cook up an intriguing brew of sonic ambience and mushroom tinged folk music which manages to meld musical influences from all corners of the globe (Indian/African drum music, Celtic and Eastern European folk are just some) into something unique in it's own right.

Recorded at Lee Buddle's Sound Mine Studios in North Perth and mixed/mastered by local engineer/producer James Hewgill at his studio in Mosman Park, the CD has an inherent feeling of spasciousness about it which does great justice to the music itself.

The disc begins with a short piece called 'Gathering' which gently fuses together Trent's delay-heavy dulcimer with Geordie's atmospheric viola playing before it segues into the aptly titled second track, 'Boundless Sea', where Jamie's energetic percussion drives the song along like some great ocean vessel.

Track three, 'Krimson Flight', is an eight minute aural journey which begins with trippy/phasey dulcimer, ethereal viola and drumming which then blossoms into a soaring song. It ebbs and flows on it's way as didgeridoo and piano are added to the collage, creating a very majestic feel.

The next track finds Jamie lending his talents to acoustic guitar. Picking out a very delicate melody, he is joined by Trent's flute-like Irish low whistle and bodhran. Djembe and assorted percussion gradually lift the joyful feel of the song and are then augmented by Geordie's bowed guitar which throws a transcendental, Indian feel into the proceedings. The song then evolves into a double-time jig before winding it's way back to where it came from.

'Thong of the Celts' is up next, and as it's name implies, it has a Celtic feel. But it's Wünjo's clever blend of heavily effect dulcimer, multi-tracked violas and percussion with didgeridoo that puts a different slant on things.

This leads us to the final song. The title track 'Balaklava' is always a popular song in their live set. Tiny bells, citern, dulcimer and eerie, droning viola harmonics herald its start as it slowly but surely speeds up into a drum-fuelled whirling dervish/gypsy wedding song kind of thing, which then tantalisingly slows down into swirling layers of percussion and Geordie's viola gymnastics. The song then comes back on the boil with rapid-fire drums. Viola and dulcimer racing along, only to cheekily slow again, before coming back even faster, and then climactically finishing.

Altogether, I found this a very enjoyable CD to listen to. Great to come down to, great to get up to. Well produced, and well played. Is it new age ? Is it psychedelia ? Is it folk ? Who knows, who cares ... it's Wünjo. Check 'em out
Reviewer: Stu

Copyright 1997 by John Morfit - All Rights Reserved