Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review: Emma Myldenberger - Tour de Trance (1979 Minos & Stelis, 2006 reissue Garden of Delights)


The soundtrack to your daydream

Joviality, peacefulness and hallucinations...
All of those are portrayed in Tour de Trance, which might be inferred from the name.

It is not only calm and peace that are conjured through their music. Being a folk band, you’d expect only that. But being as diverse as they are, their music is also rhythmic, catchy and entertaining. It’s also as beautiful as can be, haunting even at several points. And indeed, they can induce inner calm with their serene parts. The music in this album has all of those.

Another aspect that adds to the beauty of their sound and to it being special is the combining elements of ethnic music from east and west. The instruments they use help them make this blend. This is a good place to mention the variety of instruments they use which is another reason their music sounds diverse.  
In their songs and music they swing between more quiet and slow parts to more dynamic and fast tempo, adding more breadth to their compositions.
They also have some great catchy and rhythmic tune such as Ein Bißchen, where the mandolin gives a great rhythm and the band members sing together, all resulting in a wonderful, cheerful and memorable melody.

A trance might indeed be induced upon you while listening to Regenreigen with its almost 20 minutes of a mesmerizing trip. As it starts, with an eastern flavour (percussion wise) and the mandolin and flute contrast it, giving it a special sound. The music gains speed and power slowly and then diminishes again not leaving this pattern they are playing all the while. The vocals join in, sounding ethereal and the flute then takes center stage, backed up by a mellow sounding violin, and the melody evolves into a slightly different path but not too far away from the starting point. At around 8 minute into the track it picks up pace and goes into another direction entirely, though they later on connect it with the previous part and go back to it as well. This shows how as musicians, they like to develop one idea into several branches; to find more venues out of that main theme, finding more musical places that are related to that original composition.
This is too long a piece to describe all of it, but the intricacies that Emma Myldenberger put into their music and the beauty of it, doesn’t get bored at all. RAA is another fantastic example to their creativeness and their ability to do magic with their music.

This is an excellent album to sit down and relax to (the atmosphere it spreads is soothing), contemplate with and even sing with in Ein Bißchen. If you prefer, it can also be excellent to go to sleep with, or read while it plays…
It is excellent music to close your eyes to and fly away with your imagination, making this the soundtrack to your daydream.

For a beautiful, mesmerizing and fun folk album, this is an excellent choice.
For those looking, I would definitely try and get the Garden Of Delights re-issue with the bonus track and the informative booklet.

More info about the band and album here and here.
Available for purchase here, here and probably elsewhere as well.

Emma Myldenberger - Lenya's fantasie [Tour de Trance] 1979

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