Review Archive

'Bending The Dark' latter-day Pythonesque originality from The Imagined Village

(April 19, 2012)

There's a ground-breaking folk project that delves into varied cultural musical roots across the folk spectrum - from 'bathers in the limelight' to ‘dwellers in dark Bending the Darkcorners’. The  Imagined Village pour wide and diverse origins into a mix that creates folk washed in a maelstrom of inventive modernity. Then they amalgamate influences from the long-standing foundations of tradition to the far-distant reaches of ‘different’.

Their new album 'Bending the Dark' (due out in May 2012) provides living, breathing divergence from whatever else you might expect. There’s a strangely organic feel to the album through its uncanny merging of convention and inventiveness, Asian and Western combine to create an unparalleled melodic, musical melange. The Imagined Village position themselves as ‘an inclusive, creative community’ - where the musical mix is not so much ‘cross over’ more ‘roundabout’. Circling cultural and ethnic roads bound together leading to somewhere innovative, fresh and with latter-day Pythonesque originality - ‘completely different’.

The title track, 'Bending the Dark' demonstrates unadulterated quality and astounding talent, as do the experiences of ‘The Guvna’, the mournful 'New York Trade' and ‘The Fisherman’. To enjoy the experience you have to listen.

The Imagined Village is Eliza Carthy (fiddle, vocals) Martin Carthy (guitar, vocals) Simon Emmerson (guitars, cittern) Ali Friend (bass, vocals) Andy Gangadeen (drums) Johnny Kalsi (dhol, tabla, percussion) Barney Morse Brown (cello, vocals) Sheema Mukherjee (sitar, vocals) Jackie Oates (fiddle, vocals) and Simon Richmond (keyboards, electronics, vocals).

'Bending the Dark' is available from ECC Records.

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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