Posts Tagged ‘9bach’

Top of the World June 2016: The best new releases

Posted on May 5th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Our selection of the top ten new releases reviewed in the June (#118) issue.

Imarhan (City Slang)


The young Touareg band Imarhan release an enthralling collection of songs, drawing influences from a variety of subjects and musical styles to create a dynamic and diverse debut album.

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Sociedade Recreativa
Sociedade Recreativa (Jarring Effects)

Sociedade Recreativa Cover

With help from producer Maga Bo, Brazilians Sociedade Recreativa create a memorable album mixing traditional instruments and sound effects.

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Robert ‘Robi’ Svärd
Pa’ki Pa’ka (Asphalt Tango Records)

Robert 'Robi' Svärd - Pa'ki Pa'ka Cover

Trained as a classical guitarist while growing up in Australia, Swedish guitarist Svärd showcases his unique and individual take on flamenco music on this beautiful debut.

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Afro Celt Sound System
The Source (ECC Records)

Afro Celt Sound System - The Source Cover

A reenergised Afro Celt Sound System return after more than a decade since their last album.

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Jarlath Henderson
Hearts Broken, Heads Turned (Bellows Records)

Jarlath Henderson - Hearts Broken, Heads Turned Cover

Piper-turned-singer Jarlath Henderson releases a confident debut as a solo artist. Displaying impressive arrangements and musicality, the album exudes a youthful yet matured sentiment.



Anian (Real World)

9Bach - Anian Cover

9Bach deliver a cohesive set of original and traditional Welsh folk songs on their third album, a soulful and brooding project that explores themes of human nature and the outside world.

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Sierra Hull
Weighted Mind (Rounder Records)

Sierra Hull - Weighted Mind Cover

This album captures the mind of a maturing Sierra Hull, looking for direction in a changing world, showing off her ability as a talented instrumentalist and a sensitive songwriter.

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Joe Driscol & Sekou Kouyaté
Monistic Theory (Cumbancha)

Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate - Monistic Theory Cover

Rapper Driscoll and kora player Kouyaté collaborate once again, seamlessly blending their own unique styles to create their own musical language.

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Gambari Band
Kokuma (Membran)

Gambari Band - Kokuma Cover

This nine-piece are a prime example of the great music currently coming out of Mali. Their debut, full of uplifting harmonies and explosive polyrhythms, is a captivating listen.

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Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
Sing Me Home (Sony Music Masterworks)

Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble - Sing Me Home Cover

Cello icon Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble release their most diverse project yet, covering a range of musical worlds, from Mali to China.

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9Bach – Anian | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on April 28th, 2016 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

9Bach-©Dewi Glyn Jones-Free

Words by Tim Cumming

9Bach - Anian Cover

Who says anians make you cry?

The Welsh band’s third album is a cohesive, interconnected set of original songs and carefully placed Welsh folk songs, including the 19th-century anti-slavery song ‘Si Hwi Hwi’, ‘Ambell Hiraeth’ (Homesickness) and the closing ‘Breuddwd Y Bard’ (The Poet’s Dream). All feature Lisa Jen’s vocals harmonising with harpist-singer Esyllt Glyn Jones and singer-pianist Mirain Roberts in layers of rich, breathy, abstract vocal patterns and Welsh language lyricism, set to a mix of Martin Hoyland’s guitar and hammered dulcimer, and Dan Swain’s electric and double bass.

Rage against human cruelty, adoration for the powers of nature, the sense of connection with and recognition of a soulmate or place from a distance, the relationship between a boy and a gift-giving crow, the story of a Russian boy raised and protected by dogs – all these themes and stories are set to limpid, live-in-the-studio explorations. They draw at times on the trip-hop of the 1990s but more often than not, from their own artesian well of improvisation. The music is accompanied by a spoken-word disc, featuring poets, writers, actors and artists including Maxine Peake, Peter Gabriel, Rhys Ifans and Iarla Ó Lionáird reinterpreting the songs. It’s an ambitious and involving set that pushes boundaries and opens the door to dark, passionate mediations on nature, human nature and the world that lies strewn between them.

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BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards: The Winners

Posted on April 23rd, 2015 in News, Recent posts by .


Photography by BBC/Brian Tarr

The winners of the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards were announced during last night’s ceremony in Cardiff.

The 16th annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ceremony took place in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and was hosted by Mark Radcliffe and Julie Fowlis.

There were impressive live performances by an array of acts including The Rails, who won the Horizon Award, and Yusuf/Cat Stevens who won the Lifetime Achievement Award and performed his 1970 hit ‘Moonshadow’. Among the celebrities presenting awards, Billy Bragg handed Peggy Seeger and Calum MacColl their Best Original Song award and Gavin and Stacey star Ruth Jones handed Nancy Kerr the Folk Singer of the Year award.

The full list of this year’s winners:

Folk Singer of the year
Nancy Kerr

Best Duo
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker

Best Group
The Young’uns

Best Album
Tincian by 9Bach

Horizon Award
The Rails

Musician of the Year
Sam Sweeney

Best Original Song
‘Swim to the Star’ by Peggy Seeger & Calum MacColl

Best Traditional Track
‘Samhradh Samhradh’ by The Gloaming

BBC Radio 3 Young Folk Award

Lifetime Achievement Award
Yusuf/Cat Stevens
Loudon Wainwright III

Good Traditional Award
Meredydd Evans

Hall of Fame
Ewan MacColl

You can catch up on the full awards ceremony on BBC iPlayer, available from 7pm today or you watch a selection of performances on the Radio 2 website.

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Album Review | Top of the World | 9Bach – Tincian

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Words by Tim Cumming

Heavy tinkling from the indie-leaning Welsh folkers

9bach-1024x1024Singer Lisa Jên and guitarist Martin Hoyland delivered a superb debut album of traditional Welsh folk songs in 2009, fusing indie guitars and rock and dub influences with ancient Welsh folk tunes. This new set comprises original songs that draw inspiration from that same tradition, and from the physical and cultural landscape of their home in Gerlan, north Wales. Tincian is an old word from the ruinous world of heavy industry, and means to resonate, to ring, or to move with a tinkling sound.

All ten songs here feature atmospheric guitars and beats weaving their web behind the strong, distinct voice of Jên and only one, ‘Pa Le?’ is a traditional tune. Parts of it are reminiscent of Bristol’s trip-hop scene of the 90s, albeit peopled by stories of quarry men, lost children, and foxes feasting on a kill amidst a beautiful landscape. Esyllt Glyn Jones and Mirain Roberts provide vocal harmonies and harp, and the rhythm section of Ali Byworth and bassist Dan Swain is spare and minimal, but atmospheric and highly effective. 9Bach reflect on their folk traditions with something of a modernist’s or internationalist’s perspective, and remain unique in Welsh folk music.

Track To Try: ‘Pa Le?’

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