Exposé Online banner

Hurdy-Gurdy — Prototyp
(NorthSide NSD6084, 2005, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Prototyp Cover art

As medieval instruments go, the hurdy-gurdy is uniquely positioned to be effective in a modern setting. Its gritty droning sound fits in well with drums and electronics, a fact that has been somewhat exploited by the band Garmarna. This release finds Garmarna member Stefan Brisland-Ferner teaming up with Totte Mattsson of Hedningarna, another band that has been known to use the instrument. Hurdy-gurdies provide the basis of all the tracks, augmented by both acoustic and electronic percussion, bass and guitar analogs (may be the real thing, may not), electronics, and samples. The energy level is generally high, with hard-driving tempos and aggressive rhythms reminiscent of the heavier material of both bands. Most tunes are based on traditional Swedish melodies or original ones that sound traditional, and the arrangements mix things up in intriguing ways with mangled voices and other sounds. Artfully managed distortion is another key element of the mix, setting the effort apart from many trad/modern hybrids that skew melodic and pretty. There are a few moments of relative calm to interrupt the flow, with spooky atmospheres where you can catch your breath. Prototyp makes a great companion piece to KTU’s 8 Armed Monkey (also reviewed this issue), taking traditional instruments into unexpected modern territory.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Hurdy-Gurdy

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Tibbetts - Natural Causes – On first listen, one could easily be forgiven for thinking that Natural Causes might be a collection of out-takes from Tibbetts' 1982 album Northern Song, his very first LP for ECM. Indeed, the...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues