Horses Brawl Horses Brawl : Ruminantia (UK,2011)****
Horses Brawl are a Norfolk-based folk duo but their release sounds like a full band’s performance. They interpreted old music, dating back to 200BC, for an old Greek tune, to folk songs, (like a Swedish polka and an English country dance tune) to medieval/Renaissance music (from anonymous, Jacob Van Eyck, Fransisca de la Torre and William Cornysh), while this sounds like a newly composed concept that expands the limitations of folk dance repetition, and repetition of tunes in general to a new format of composing, or let’s say sonic investigation. It starts from a folk dance tune all right, with the medieval feeling, a different form of repetition quickly participates, not as a folk dance repetition in rhythm and tune but as a sonic awareness, a form of minimalism. The harmonies used are that of certain droning chords with a few repetitive notes in the middle created by violin or Indian harmonium with the effect of the sound colours of certain medieval instruments liked personalised bowed zithers or hurdy-gurdy, at times it could be as if we heard the combination of violin, bowed zither and accordion or so which is not so. Even the guitars are used to add accents of rhythm AND a certain sound harmony with it. There can be weird accents of slashing guitar chords, part of the evolution in rhythm and song, something wild, primitive and creative can be felt from within, an experience inside the material of tunes and folk dance rhythms that can become a secondary aspect for a new inspiration. It is as if certain old patterns become loops, and the music is at the same time traditional, re-felt interpretation with something of a contemporary vision by experience.
The album was recorded in one single take, succeeded to sound inspired by vision. This opportunity gave the advantage of building up the atmosphere from track to track.
Horses Brawl is Laura Cannell on fiddle, Hardanger fiddle, recorders & occasional crumhorn and Andre Bosman on guitar, acoustic bass guitar and Indian harmonium.