Some CDs deserve a special treatment. And Mythos , the second CD of the German band Waldkauz , is one of them. When it arrives, and believe me you're missing out on a nice pagan folk album if you don't get it, so when it arrives, do NOT put it in the CD player straight away! Trust me on this! Be patient, do your normal things, let the day pass, maybe look into the booklet a bit, (Impressive sleeve art and booklet by the way), but leave the CD until the dark of the evening. Then, and only then, when the kids are in bed, the pets fed and the dishes done, light a candle. Only one. You want the flickering light to play with the shadows on the wall. Now turn on your best stereo system, go sit in the middle of the room for maximum stereo effect (or use headphones), crank up the volume and finally press play.... Zwielicht , in English twilight, is probably the best intro to a pagan folk album I have ever heard. It pulls you right into the world of the fae, of witches and dwarves or the dark ancient woods of the Balkan. It is a stunning beginning to a CD that has lots more to give.
Their second album Mythos already came out in April 2017, but now that Waldkauz will perform at Castlefest
for the very first time, we at CeltCast thought it was about time to finally introduce the band and their music to you.
The story of this band begins in 2010, with Gina and Lennart Klause working out the first musical ideas for what would become Waldkauz. They were soon joined by Gina's brother Peter on percussion. The band's official starting point is in 2013 with their first public performance, making 2018 the year of their 5th anniversary . Something they are going to celebrate with a special performance in October. In 2014, after meeting Gina, Lennart and Peter on Castlefest (!), Nina and Niklas, (old friends themselves), joined the band. The following year saw the birth of their first album Komm mit
. It earned them performances on the MPS, das Mittelalterlich phantasie spectaculum
(Medieval fantasy spectacle) that tours Germany every year.
When you start reading the booklet of Mythos
it soon becomes clear that it isn't just a name. The CD really is a collection of myths and fairytales put to… Read More
Anno Domini MMVI (In the year of the Lord 2006), Nynke Glazema, Tom Haage, Francesco Scafidi and Lies Sommer formed the Dutch band Datura . Their aim was to bring authentic medieval music to life, wearing the right clothing and each playing the instruments typical of the time:
Nynke : viella* and vocals
Tom : Spanish lute, flute, shawm* and vocals
Francesco : davul*, darbukka*, tambourine, saz* and vocals
Lies : harp, hurdy-gurdy, shawm and vocals
They studied the old manuscripts on the subject: songs collected by King Alfonso the 10th of Castilia y Leon (1221-1284); songs of devotion collected in the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat ; the red book of the monastery of Montserrat around the 14th century; and the most famous collection of them all, the Carmina Burana .
The fruit of their studies were recorded for the first time in 2012 with Fieke van den Hurk
, and collected on a magical disk-like mirror. A 'mirror' they called Alpha et Omega
. The songs on Alpha et Omega
were partly recorded in two churches and Fieke used the acoustics in there to her full advantage, therefore giving the listener a feel for the sounds of old medieval times. When minstrels would grace the courts and castles of medieval lords and kings. When their music would fill the big halls during elaborate dinners. Where the nobility would stride elegantly in couples to the sound of the music. They strode, because hopping and dancing was for the common people. That´s how Alpha et Omega
feels when you listen to it. Elegant, sophisticated and well crafted. A real view into the noble courts of the 12th to the 15th century.
In 2016 Datura visited Fieke in the studio again. From the first notes it's clear she gave Datura a different sound on Gratus et Optatus
. More direct. Where the first album was for the nobility, this 'magical mirror' is meant for the common people. It invites you to dance and stomp and sing along. We are not looking into the medieval world anymore. We are right in it! In the midst of it. The travelling musicians are right there in front of us, on the market square, playing their first song Bacche Bene Venies
. With Bacchus, the god of wine, standing next to us, giving us another glass. Bacche Bene Venies
is a cheerful uptempo drinking song, coming from the Carmina Burana
, that gets us listeners going straight away.… Read More
I love live albums. They capture that moment when the creative spirit of the musician meets the energy of the crowd. And when that connection is there, a band will feed off the energy to give their very best. It does not always happen, but every time when that connection ìs there it gives me goosebumps. I've been to several concerts where that electric energy was there between the band and us, the crowd and I remember them to this day. To catch something like that on a CD is just magic! When I heard that Harmony Glen was releasing a second live CD/DVD, knowing the cool positive energy they bring to the stage, and hearing that it was recorded at Elfia one of the bigger fantasy festivals in Holland, I was really looking forward to this CD. Did it live up to my expectations? For a big part it did, a very big part. But I'll come to that later.
Harmony Glen has become a household name at medieval- and fantasy festivals all over Europe and even North America. Dressed as a steampunk band their shows are [quote]: "An Irish folk extravaganza!"
[unquote] and as their biography is right on the nose, I will quote it a bit more: [quote]: "Harmony Glen is a Dutch feelgood-folk group founded in 2005. The music is based on Irish-Celtic folk but regularly sounds from all over the world get woven in. The goal of the band is to stand out not only through their music (which is a mix of traditional and original songs and tunes) but through their stage presence as well. Harmony Glen's shows have been described as 'a powerhouse of Folk' and people who attend can't seem to stand still as the energy is always on a maximal level."
Until now they recorded 6 studio and one live album called Live In Bremen
. So Live At Elfia
is their second live album and already their 8th CD overall. Quite an impressive discography. Most of the songs on Live At Elfia
are taken from their latest studio album Start Living Today
, so people already owning Live In Bremen
don't need to worry, there are just two songs that appear on both CDs.
The artwork of Live At Elfia
looks stunning. That alone makes buying this album worth all its money. Niels Duindam did a wonderful job on it. The… Read More
There is this Dutch saying: 'all good things come fast.' But I don't think even Satria Karsono would have dared to dream that he would be rocking the Winter Castlefest stage with his own band Sunfire , only 10 months after doing his first solo concert as a support act for Thundercrow .
Nor would he have expected that ALL the major Dutch fantasy festivals would be queuing up to book his band for the 2018 season. Whether you will be visiting Elfia , Zomerfolk or Castlefest, there is no escaping the western folk sounds of Sunfire. And you might bump in to them on a lot of other Dutch festivals as well. 2018 is starting to look like a break through year for this young band.
Sunfire already visited the CeltCast living room and the song Yoyo was our February 2018 monthly marker . So it's high time we finally introduce Satria's music in a CD review.
We first picked up on Satria Karsono's music when he released the mini CD Endorphine
under the artist name Satria Sunfire in 2014. It is a beautiful 6 track album that showcases Satria as a gifted singer-songwriter and guitarist. His style can be described as laid back acoustic music, with a warm soulful voice and good lyrics, reminding me a bit of Jack Johnson
. It kinda feels like friends sharing life stories while drinking good wine around a campfire. Endorphine
was brought out as a download album only. Although officially no longer promoted, you can still find it in the archives of the good old internet if you want to.
In February of 2017 Satria did his first solo performance at the Thundercrow release party, for their CD Drop It
. He played old material from his Endorphine
Mini CD and gave us a taste of the new songs that were released on Sunfire
soon after. This is his first -and for the time being only- full length solo CD. Satria recorded it with the help of old friend and sound engineer Berend de Vries. But even before officially releasing Sunfire
, Satria already told us he wanted to bring a band together to promote the CD and work on new material.
In the summer of 2017 Sunfire did some small shows as a full band for the first time, with Satria on vocals, guitar and percussion; Berend de Vries on (solo) guitar and Michel Beeckman on bass.… Read More