Hedningarna — 1989-2003
(NorthSide NSD6075, 2003, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2004-04-01
Readers of this magazine have likely noticed over the last few years the fondness that several on the staff have for artists on the NorthSide label, with Hedningarna consistently getting good reviews. Those of you who have taken our advice and picked up on this great band may feel a bit of frustration at this compilation, as it features fifteen of the best tracks from the five proper albums (which you already have, right?) spanning the decade of 1989-1999, plus two new tunes recorded in 2003. The remaining track is a version of “Kruspolska” (originally on 1997’s Hippjokk) remixed by the popular techno artist Sasha. So the question is, are the new tracks worth the cost of this CD? I’m sorry to say I can’t save you any money there – they’re both great, easily up to the level of the other chosen tracks, and featuring a somewhat revised six-member lineup. For those of you who have yet to get into Hedningarna, it’s a no-brainer. Go out and pick this up as a low-cost, low-risk way to see if they suit your fancy. Even for those of us whose roots lie in parts of the world outside Scandinavia, this music touches neurons that feel like the farthest reaches of our past grasping onto the electric vitality of our own time. Primal beats and the raw emotion of ancient instruments weld together with joyful voices and modern technology to produce a communication beyond language.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more