Interview with Trad.Attack!

Vancouver’s Folk Music Festival is an amazingly eclectic showcase of bands from around the world – the perfect place to discover young bands before they blow up on the international scene.  On their first Canadian tour, Trad.Attack! were hands-down one of the standout acts at this year’s festival. Mixing ancient Estonian folk music with punk rock virility, they have transformed the Baltic scene and are ready to take over the world – one country at a time.  They also happen to be hilarious and very skilled in the Canadian language.  Hear an exclusive Wandering Rhythms interview with Trad.Attack! right here:

Impromptu background music provided by another Folk Fest delight, Betsayda Machado y la Parranda el Clavo, on their first tour to el norte:

Pioneering Women in Music

In all styles, in all places, there are strong women who craft songs just as well as the fellas. In celebration of International Women’s Day 2016, we present a playlist of great female composers and performers – from the big band era to the present – who breached the status quo to share their art, and in the process have divined a more equal world:

The Land of Post-rock Vikings

Viking metalheads from the band Týr.  Real nice guys.

Týr:  Classic Viking metalheads reviving the 90s.  The 1090s.

Midway between Norway and Iceland lies a splattering of islands lost in time.  O the mysterious Faroes.  Only 50,000 humans make up this quasi-nation, politically tied to Denmark yet refusing membership in the European Union (as decided by the conservative Norse Gods).  Yet despite geographical isolation and the continued practice of whale hunting, the Faroese are surprisingly futuristic in their musical meanderings.

Tindholmur island

Tindholmur Island. Get your free-range organic pilot whales and puffins here (not approved by PETA).

Aside from the requisite Viking-revival bands wielding electric axes, the Faroe Islanders are also making some very tasteful electro-funk hip hop, jangly folk, sinister drone-scapes, ambient jazz, experimental pop, and my personal favourite: grit hop played on giant industrial machines, courtesy of the band ORKA.  To boot, there is a great Faroese record label, TUTL, that provides a potent platform for local bands to broadcast their music in Scandinavia and beyond.

Dig into these sounds and more on the [[FAROESE FEATURE]].

The Devil Went Down to Tbilisi

Downtown Atlanta: this is not

Downtown Atlanta: this is not

Orient your cochleas towards the Caucasus, here drifts a wave of sublime sounds from Georgia.  Not the southern American state, but rather the magical country on the far east of Europe – or if you prefer, the western fringe of Asia (continents are surprisingly nebulous entities).  The rugged Georgia-Russia border is only a few dozen kilometres from the current Sochi Winter Olympic Games taking place in the deep south of Russia, but Georgia is still light years removed from the global cultural spotlight.  And so we dive…

Sonically speaking, Georgians are best known for their age-old mastery of polyphonic vocal harmonies.  This is a technique that has spread to all corners of the planet, yet Georgians have been doing it for so long that they still seem to do it better; this effortless layering of voices has found its way into non-traditional genres as well.. like throw-back choral swing!:

Stream the Georgian broadcast [[HERE]], featuring some of the world’s most potent vocalists, with sides of prog, folk, hip hop, and mystery beats.