Various Artists – Gold & Silver Compilation #1
[tags: acoustic, folk, compilation, 2010]
Listen while reading:
Frère De Song – In My Room (from Gold & Silver Compilation #1)
Jonathan Hicks – Song For Sailors (from Gold & Silver Compilation #1)
Annalena Bludau – Laces Of Your Shoes (from Gold & Silver Compilation #1)
01. Haruko – Autumn, Golden Trees
02. Olenka & the Autumn Lovers – Iron Pump
03. Itai Faierman – Harmony Circles
04. Robh Hokum – Be my Shepherd
05. Frere de Song – In my Room
06. Christopher Paul Stelling – Flawless Executioner
07. Jose Delhart – Rusty Nails
08. The Canoe Man – Broken Box
09. Jonathan Hicks – Song for Sailors
10. Annalena Bludau – Laces of your Shoes
11. H. Gudjonsson – Nashville Sky Pt.II
12. Things in Herds – As you were ending
13. Thankyoustreetsound – Out-of-mind-fucker
14. Patrick Graham – Turn to Dust
The wonderful Gold & Silver Recordings are back with a new release, a compilation full of acoustic folk at its best. (And you can win an exemplar of it! Wow! More information at the bottom of the page!) Featured are well known artists as well as mostly unknown names which have one thing in common: spare beauty and the magic of creating sad music mostly accompanied by acoustic guitar. You’ll find artists from the US, the UK and Germany – I really like the idea of flawless musical borders and the result shows that the tracks harmonize very well even though they span nearly all around the world. Along with this, the compilation is also a very important sign to the world that Germany’s folk scene is growing and already has got some serious talent. And I don’t say this because I’m proud that there are some serious folk rumors in my home country, I say this for the songs are really that good and because Haruko and Hlynur Gudjonsson did a fantastic job in collecting, partially recording, compiling and releasing this snazzy folk gem.
You won’t be surprised when I’m telling you that Haruko and Hlynur Gudjonsson have songs of their own on the compilation, seems quite natural. I’m just a little bit surprised that they decided to not put on exclusive tracks. But this isn’t a complaint, because both tracks are simply beautiful. Haruko’s song Autumn, Golden Trees was taken from her debut full length Wild Geese and Hlynur Gudjonsson’s Nashville Sky Pt. 2 from the great Death Was A Stranger EP (reviewed here). Where Haruko’s voice is ethereal and her guitar play lulling, Hlynur Gudjonsson’s is dark, sad and full of melancholy. But these two songs aren’t the only things you want to listen to, take for example Harmony Circles by Itai Faierman, lo-fi in character, really dry, but still one hell of a folk track with catchy vocal melodies. The contrast to Robh Hokum’s fuller, warmer guitar sound creates a nice tension and especially in comparison to the fantastic, slightly experimental Olenka & The Autumn Lovers song Iron Pump, the variety of the record is proven – but all the time within the boundaries of acoustic folk. The last three tracks of the first half (of 14 tracks overall) display this variety again, even though Frère De Song’s In My Room is a great addition to Robh Hokum and not so different in style, maybe again a bit richer and fuller in sound. But Frère De Song’s voice got a intense dark night feeling to it and this makes this song really special and one of my favorites. But while talking of favorites, I have to mention Brooklyn/New York based Christopher Paul Stelling…oh, what a fantastic, what a pushing track he contributed. Flawless Executioner shines with wild finger-picked acoustic guitar play and a totally emotional, often collapsing voice. Honest and real. – The completion of side one, so to say, is Jose Delhart (we posted on him earlier). His track got some world music influences from Eastern Europe, I think, and is a nice addition to the whole compilation. But especially this track shows a little weakness of the release, for the volume levels fluctuate quite a bit sometimes. But ok, that’s not really a big deal.
Let’s get to the b-side of the Gold & Silver Compilation #1. And atmospherically harmonious the second half opens with a very quiet and somehow scary track from The Canoe Man that totally reminds me of Flying Saucer Attack’s track In The Light Of Time form the Further album. Ok, it’s not as noisy, but the vocal style is quite similar and so is the overall atmosphere. I don’t know if I should call the track folk, but at least I call it awesome! Jonathan Hicks, the next artist, is more folksy again and his fine little Song For Sailors, with the sea in the background, is quite a nice pick and the somehow droning voice represents both the drinking habit of stereotypical sailors and the rough ocean waves. Annalena Bludau is one artist I knew of for quite some time, musically, but I don’t know, I never got warm with her music. The more I was surprised that her song Laces Of Your Shoes, is such nice, traditional folk, just voice and acoustic guitar, nothing experimental, a decent sound, but a very good mastering, the voice in front, but the guitar not far behind. Really nice melodies and a really good song, maybe I have to rethink my previous opinion about her music.
So, there are only the last three tracks left and they make a really nice final. Things In Herds combine folk sound with the sound of bands like Savoy Grand, I think. The result equally sounds folky with gentle guitar melodies, but also like some good old slowcore (in the vein of Savoy Grand, not necessarily Low). This slowcore moment is also the perfect basis for the following piano and vocals track by Thankyoustreetsound. Sad in melody it is a great track to listen to while leaves are falling and everything turns into brown and yellow shades. Very good music for the night. I think it would have been the perfect last track for the compilation, but I can see the point, that this could have evoked the feeling as if it was put at the end because it doesn’t really fit in musically. That’s not the case, but I think everyone who has at least little fun creating mix tapes and playlists, knows about the problem of the last two tracks. So there was a decision necessary and Haruko and Hlynur Gudjonsson decided to put Patrick Graham’s song Turn Into Dust to the end. And I understand the reasons for that, the track represents the whole compilation, pure acoustic folk, pure acoustic guitar, very nice song structure with an very interesting break shortly before the end. And then the last notes pass away and then there’s silence (what is not true because the compilation runs on repeat here, but anyways…)
Ok, now the part where I tell you what to do to win an exemplar of this great CDr compilation: just write a 5000+ words essay on the topic of contemporary folk music. HAHA, yeah, just kiddin’ here…if you really want to win that copy, just write me an e-mail and I will randomly choose one winner from all entries. This contest will last 24 hours. If you don’t get lucky and you still want a copy, you should visit Gold & Silver Recordings’ MySpace site and order your copy via pm or mail. And don’t forget to write me that e-mail – fine music’s waiting!