Väsen
"Trio" (CD 6077)
     
   
"Gront" (CD 87075)
 

Väsen Trio CD: In the fall of 2002, Väsen made a brief tour of the U.S. without percussionist André Ferrari, just as the original trio that they were from when the band was started in 1989 up until 1996 when André joined. Initially the idea of the tour was to play some older, pre-quartet material that they had not played for some time. But as they got together to rehearse, they realized that they all had new material which lent itself quite well to trio arrangements. The result was an entire set of new material, and the audiences loved it. The tour was such a success that the band decided to do more regular trio tours in the future, as well as continuing with their quartet work. Regular trio performances called for a new trio CD which represented what the band was currently playing. And that's how this new Trio CD was born. Enhanced CD includes two videos of live Trio performance from the 2002 Nordic Roots Festival.

Their music in general: Never before has Swedish folk music swung with such intensity. Dense, complex arrangements with one foot firmly planted in the Swedish fiddle tradition, and the other in new acoustic music. The pieces are equally suitable for dancing, as well as for listening. The combination is as unique as it is natural: nyckelharpa (a keyed fiddle unique to Sweden), viola, twelve-string guitar, and percussion. But this is more than just a traditional sound. There's a playfulness to their music, joy, and delight in making exciting new arrangements of centuries-old tunes. Rock, jazz, traditional, and classical influences weave together, making a music that's beautiful but never too sweet.

"A lot of Scandinavian groove, improvisation and excitement is featured on Väsen's second CD as a quartett. All four musicians of Väsen are exceptionally excellent: Mikael Marin on fiddles, Roger Tallroth on 12 string guitar, oktave mandolin and Swedish bouzouki (whatever the pecularities in a Swedish bouzouki may be!), then Olov Johansson on Sweden's national instrument, the nyckelharpa and last not least the improvising percussionist Andre Ferrari. Although all the tunes are composed by Väsen, the music has a destinctive Swedish feeling - dark, yet charming and harmonic. "Gront" is one of those CDs where you would not be able to name a particular favourite tune - it is the full album which makes out of the music a masterpiece of its very own kind."

Michael Moll (folkworld)