When I see music tagged with the term ‘neofolk‘, I expect to hear something like Death In June, The Moon Lay Hidden Beneath A Cloud or Current 93, not this. I’m not entirely sure where jì lú hail from in China, but the label who released this disc, Raflum, hail from Sichuan, home of some seriously good food. If you remember the Japanese psychedelic band Ghost, fronted by guitarist Masaki Batoh, this might be a corollary. It’s exceptionally psychedelic, and has the feel of the Incredible String Band on even more acid, feeling more placid. This is gorgeous.
I have to admit that I’m a bit jealous that I haven’t heard anything this good in Beijing yet.
Dutch label Seja Records graces us with a magnificent new release by Swedish neofolkers Fatal Casualties. It’s amazing to thing that Stefan Ljungdahl and Ivan Hirvonen have been performing off and on as Fatal Casualties for 30 years now, as the current release is perhaps the freshest, most vibrant music they’ve put out in more than a decade. It’s hard to even consider this neofolk, because it uses so many other genres as a touchstone. One can hear post-punk, goth, dark electronic music, a bit of a soundscape here and there. Ivan’s vocals top the aural cake off beautifully. Kudos to the engineer who managed to balance the sounds perfectly.
This album was released in 2016, but as I came around to it only recently, I’ll gladly consider this a new-ish release. Well worth your time.
Editorial Municipal de Rosario is a record label out of Rosario, Argentina, which normally focuses on classical music. After digging into their catalog, I noticed that they’re not limited to that genre alone.
This album features the warm voice of Ethel Koffman, a fellow Argentine whose voice lilts in a way that would fit well with Bossa Nova music.
A very pleasant surprise from our friend and colleague, Vincent Moon, who churns out stream of startlingly beautiful compilations from places off the beaten path (Ossetia, Chechnya, etc). His label, Collection Petites Planètes, presents a compilation done with the assistance of Fatime Kosumi, a Kosovar singer of Albanian heritage, covering folk tunes for female choir.