Issue 27 2/2004
The FolkWorld Editorial
Welcome to the first issue of the year 2004! Last year saw only two FolkWorld issues, and even though we endeavour to have in 2004 at least three issues, we cannot promise anything. For the moment, we invite you to enjoy this issue, packed with reviews, news and articles of exciting folk and world music from Europe and beyond.
As this is the first issue in 2004, you will also find the "Best CDs of 2003" listings, with a Top 10 choice of FolkWorld's editors and a Top5 from most of FolkWorld's regular contributors. The Top 2 CDs of the Editors top 10 are worthwhile to comment upon - a German CD and a continental Irish CD.
Too seldom it is that a German folk CD arrives that is exciting enough to take up a place in the Top 10, or even the "number 1" of CDs of the year. Wolfgang Meyering's "Malbrook" has impressed not only the editors of this magazine, but has been celebrated in general in Germany as well as in neighbouring countries, including the Netherlands. "Malbrook" combines Northern German traditions with Scandinavian and other influences - exciting stuff! FolkWorld often receives emails from across the world, particularly from the States, asking for advice about high quality German folk music, and to be honest, there is not a long list of quality CDs representing German traditions that have been reviewed in FolkWorld. "Malbrook" is one of those CDs I would recommend to anybody interested to explore modern German folk music - as most exciting German folk CDs, Malbrook looks beyond German borders, yet the basis is German tradition,
The second place of the editors' top 10 is taken by a duo from Denmark, of the American Michael Rose and the Dane Ditte Fromseier Mortensen, playing together Irish-based music. Somehow it seems that during the last couple of years several of the most memorable CDs with Irish and Celtic music did not come from Irish or Scottish musicians, but rather from musicians with no Celtic background but a strong affection to the music. Some of the CDs I am thinking of are Birkin Tree and Lacs Dana from Italy, Lynch the Box from Germany, or Danny Guinan (himself being Irish) with his Dutch band Red. All of these CDs reflect Irish music with an open mind, staying overall true to Irish roots, yet bringing a new edge and appeal to Irish music. This does, of course, not mean that there are not also plenty of Irish CDs from Irish musicians - it simply means that the quality of continental Irish music is increasing all the time, and they should be accepted as part of the "crème de la crème" of Irish and Celtic music.
To all of our readers a belated "happy new year", hope you enjoy FolkWorld's number 27!
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