Review: The Ultimate Guide To Spanish Folk - Various Artists
The Ultimate Guide To Spanish Folk
|Album:||The Ultimate Guide To Spanish Folk|
|Date of Release:||2013/06/25|
|Country of Release:||GB|
|Genre/s:||World | Spain|
|Sub-Genre/s:||Folk, Spanish Folk|
|Date of Review:||2013/08/26|
The Ultimate Guide To Spanish Folk
Released by ARC Music in Association with Mundofonias on 25th June, The Ultimate Guide To Spanish Folk takes a highly ambitious title. Of course, there can never be an ultimate guide to anything in the strictest, literal sense, no matter how you try. However, the excellent Mundofonias team of Juan Antonio Vázquez and Araceli Tzigane have come up with a superb compilation that comes as close as you could hope to find. And as a 'guide' to any kind of music, The Ultimate Guide To Spanish Folk comes as close to a perfect 'guide' as you could hope to find in the confines of one or two CDs.
In the case of Spanish folk, there is an additional problem. The fascist Franco Regime managed to eliminate much of the oral traditional folk music in all of Spain's various regions, except what suited them politically. (Not dissimilarly to how a number of other European countries had their oral traditions of folk music more or less eliminated in political interests between the 18th and 20th centuries, roughly.) However, there were remnants of traditional folk music that survived in most Spanish regions, and a healthy folk scene soon developed post-Franco. This ranges from the strictly traditional to more contemporary electro-folk and folk-rock and beyond.
Imagine if, relatively to the folk music of the British Isles, all that was left to go by were, say, a couple of handful songs each from the English, Scottish and Irish folk traditions, a recording of Martin Wyndham-Read, an album of Bert Jantsch, The Unthanks, The Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains, maybe a couple or so songs by Max Boyce. Any future musicians would have a pretty tough time reconstructing the folk music of the British Isles from that. Yet, a similarly hard task faced the musicians of post-Franco Spain!
The fact that there is a thriving folk scene throughout Spain's various and varied regions at all today is tribute to the resilience of tradition, and to the enthusiasm and dedication of Spanish musicians.
It is also tribute to the discerning skills of Mundofonias that they managed to come up with as excellent and representative a compilation for The Ultimate Guide To Spanish Folk. As any such compilation, it can only serve to whet your appetites rather than provide a comprehensive education about the many varied Spanish traditions, but it does so superbly.
So if the folk music of Spain and its territories might interest you, or you are a general folk or even general 'world music' aficionado, then ARC Music's The Ultimate Guide To Spanish Folk is a definite must have. It is a fascinating, even riveting compilation that is irresistible in itself, and also may lead you on to new musics that you may wish to explore more closely.
You most definitely want to go for the CD rather than digital download though, as the booklet that comes with the CD (in English, German and Spanish) provides superb annotations for each song, giving further insights. There is some confusion concerning the medieval Arabic Empire of Al Andalus, which once included most of the Iberian peninsula, the Spanish Jews or Sephardim (largely Berber converts, their large body of songs and poetry being known as Ladino, in the Judeo-Spanish or Judezmo language) and other minor issues in the sleeve notes, but no more than is commonly found in general, non-specialised liturature.
1. Mercedes Peón - Isué ('Isué' 2000) - Galicia - 3:09
Credits:For principal performing artist see first part of title.
Compiled by Mundofonías:
Juan Antonio Vázquez
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