‘Locks and Bolts’ from Solarference – inventing an entirely original facet of folk

(June 12, 2016)

Listening to ‘Locks and Bolts’ the first live album from Solarference, who are Nick Janaway and Sarah Owen, is an experience both enlightening and at the same time confusing. It’s folk but not as many know it. And that’s not a Solarference live albumcriticism, merely an observation. This intriguing duo mix electronic and computer-driven sound experimentation, sampling and programming with piano, guitar and dulcimer, and a pair of fine folk voices – along the way they invent an entirely original facet of folk.

Playing’ laptops with self-designed sound software, Solarference manufacture a sound-web over and around their instruments and voices. The more you listen to ‘Locks and Bolts’ the more your preconceptions fade and the more you absorb their musical mix. Few people demand that folk should begin and end with acoustic instruments and those that do could well benefit from listening to Solaference, they might be convinced to alter their views.

Ocaisionally offering some strange electronic expression and weirdly interesting sounds, this album is the tradition re-worked, rearranged and re-animated, given new life and injected with a sizeable dose of 21st century. ‘Locks and Bolts’ releases on 24th June 2016


Review: Charlie Elland

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