Global experimentation, Polish-style. Warsaw Village Band are one of the most inventive folk groups in Europe, with an edgy, driving style in which the harsh-edged female-harmony vocals of Magdalena Sobczak-Kotnarowska and Sylwia Świątkowska are matched against violins, percussion, dulcimer and brass. Their compositions are usually based on traditional themes, but the old Polish influences are transformed by a remarkable cast of special guests. From Galicia, Spain, there’s the experimental multi-instrumentalist Mercedes Peón, who adds vocals, electronics or bagpipes on eight of the tracks. Then there’s the Iranian master musician Kayhan Kalhor adding the kamancheh fiddle on the rousing Towards the Sun, and an Indian contingent, including the Dhoad Gypsies from Rajasthan and the singer and sarangi player Ustad Liaqat Ali Khan, bringing unexpected textures to the throbbing and atmospheric Perkun’s Fire. An inventive and often thrilling exercise in breaking down musical borders.
Warsaw Village Band: Sun Celebration review – breaking down musical borders
Robin Denselow is a journalist and broadcaster who specialises in music and politics. He is the author of When The Music's Over, a history of political pop