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Saturday, October 10, 2009


SPIN (1994)
320 KBPS

I had the very good fortune to discover this album when it was newly released in 1994, and through all of my musical peregrinations since then only a handful of folk albums have come close to this one for me, it has a very special chemistry to it, and it is one of my most treasured cds.
This album has a very raw, pagan feel to it, an outlandish and spellbinding swirl of music and song, firmly focused around the hurdy-gurdy of Nigel Eaton and gorgeous voice of Julie Murphy. There is a little bit of bass and some unpolished synths and programmed beats here and there, which add nicely to the whole. Most of the songs are traditional, and the majority of those are Welsh and English, and there are also a couple of covers, I'm not sure how radical they are because I haven't heard the originals to compare, but I can imagine the Bronski Beat cover is pretty different from the original. Ffoles Llantrisant is one of my favourites on the album, but really, this is an album upon which every track shines brightly, so it is hard to single out highlights.
I always hoped that there would be a follow-up to this album but alas one never came, and this far down the road I wonder if a follow-up could capture the same prickly essence that this one has. Nigel Eaton released Pandemonium in 2002, which features Julie Murphy on two tracks, and it is a fine album, but rather sedate in comparison, and the overall feel is somewhat removed from the sheer dizzying magnificence of Spin. I consider Blowzabella's "A Richer Dust" to be the other exceptional album featuring Nigel Eaton, and Julie Murphy's singing is lovely on Fernhill's "Llatai".

1. Doldrum
2. Donna Lombarda
3. Ffoles Llantrisant
4. Puit D'amour - Tiennet
5. False True Love
6. Sept Marins
7. Jasmine Sweet
8. Searching For Lambs - Lost Hearts
9. Captain's Courageous
10. Ffarwel I Aberystwyth - Côté Pile
11. Scotis Lwyd - Scotis Syml
12. Bloodlines
13. Sept Marins Again - Hanter Dro

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