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)