Review of Kristalle by Nathalie F. of Heimdallr
WERKRAUM - Kristalle - MCD - 6 tracks - Ahnstern / Steinklang - 2005
I was not totally convinced by the first Werkraum album 'Unsere Feuer Brennen!' released two years ago on Cold Spring, but I must say, before going further, that I've been under the charm of the six folk songs gathered on 'Kristalle' since the very first listen.
The mcd opens with 'Queen Mab' a cover of Donovan song with Nicholas Tesluk (Changes) on vocals (and of course 12-string guitar) aided by Axel Frank on guitars, psalter and percussions. The alchemy is perfect and the result simply surpasses the original version!
It is followed by probably the most dynamic songs of all 'Crystals' based upon a fine combination of guitars, low whistles, (strong) percussions and glockenspiel, with the participation of Nick Nedzynski (Lady Morphia) on vocals and bass. Track 3 'Hoerne' is a beautiful instrumental piece favourable to dreamy moments played on flute, guitars and bells and over which floats a medieval atmosphere.
Next song is 'Wunde und Dorn', a folk ballad guided by Antje and Axel as a duet singing in German, with hand-percussions, guitars, chimes in the background. 'Ornament' offers another folk ballad (with medieval accents) and a nice duet (Antje and Nick) in English this time. The mcd closes with 'La Fee Verte', with lyrics and spoken words by Robert N. Taylor (Changes) the sole incursion of an electric instrument (mixed with acoustic guitar, psalter and cymbals) but a psychedelic composition that participates in the same way to the overall feeling in which this fine selection of songs plunges the listener.
The mcd comes in a nice 6-panel digipack featuring lyrics and photos.
A successful meeting of experienced folk musicians that gave birth to a very welcome and sincere record of folk and traditional music.
Nathalie F. Spring 2006