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coverpic flag US - New Mexico - Full Moon 166 - 03/30/10

A Hawk And A Hacksaw
The Leaf Label / Playground

Can nerve-racking be a positive description? Well, I doubt it. Yet, parts of this music is a little unnerving. Jeremy Barnes' (and Heather Trost's) A Hawk And A Hacksaw have come up with their fourth album with Délivrance, and it's still about south eastern European, tracking down to Turkey's Asian/Middle Eastern influences sound and rhythms. In fact, Délivrance, was released in May last year, but was just re-launched this year for the Nordic (only?) countries. Délivrance for sure is not easy listening.

As with A Hawk and a Hacksaw & the Hun Hangár Ensemble (2007), parts of this album were recorded in Budapest. Once more with the Hun Hangár Ensemble. Other recordings took place in Devon (UK) and A Hawk And A Hacksaw's hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. A bit similar to 2005's Darkness at Noon (Leaf 2005), which was recorded in the UK, in Eastern Europe (Prague), and at home in Albuquerque. Darkness... was indeed likeable and fascinating, as was the follow up, the praised The Way the Wind Blows (Leaf 2006). On their myspace-site they list the following as influences (edit): Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Turkey, Greece, Hungary, as well as Black Sabbath, Jaki Leibezeit, Nahalot Shalom Community Klezmer Band, Boris Karloff, The Kinks, Duke Ellington, Bach, and Charles Mingus!

It's hard to pick any tracks in specific, but I prefer some of the calmer ones, such as "Raggle Taggle", "Vasilis Carries A Flaming Skull Through The Forest", and the very neat closing track "Lassú". This is music for travelling, visiting exotic places off the beaten track. Experimental trans-world folk music with an agenda.

Recommended to be listened to in smaller portions. This is where a vinyl LP is such a good thing, with its natural break, the length of the intermission indeed a matter of individual action. Yet, the content is somewhat fascinating stuff. Despite its restless musical core.

Copyright © 2010 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our A Hawk And A Hacksaw article/review: Darkness at Noon.

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