Review Archive

Inca - Latin American folk

(March 04, 2012)

Folk music, from whatever part of the world holds some element of its origin. And when you listen you absorb some of its essence. That's what happens with this album. It delivers haunting, dynamic, evocative, earthy, spectral sounds - OK that’s enough adjectives; but for once, however hard I try, it’s mission impossible to encapsulate the vibrant, engaging, dynamism of Inca with words alone - you absolutely have to listen. They call their music Latin American folk, and thatInca should give you some idea of the passion that lives within this music. Inca adroitly mix native music from Mexico, Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela and then a short trek along the Andes they bring in Peru, Bolivia and Chile. This immense span of native folk is delivered by Tony Hinnigan, Anna Noakes, Julie Murray, Gary Kettel and Grant McFarlane Dowse.

Bringing together multifarious talent and expertise can be fraught with conflict and confusion. Sometimes the centre cannot hold the various energies of its components – not so here. Their debut CD together is as tight as it could be with each part combining with the other to create a sparkling whole.

Opening with ‘Ayacucho’ (a reference to either a major battle or the devotion of its people) this Peruvian tune offers reflections of verve and spirit. By contrast ‘Floreo De Llamas’ slowly builds its offering of haunting pipes, and the more contemplative side to their music is also shown through the soft caress of ‘Grazias a la Vide’. The enticing blend of percussion and panpipes engage immensely through the spirited Andean tune ‘El Pajaro Madrugador’ while the insipient energy of ‘Candome Para Jose' is barely contained.

Not every folk fan will leap to add this to their collection and that's a shame because they should. And embrace latin American folk.

Reviewer: Dan Holland

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