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JIGGY - Hypernova 

JIGGY - Hypernova 
Big Beat Music BBM005 

Jiggy’s second album, Hypernova, is a big affair, culturally and otherwise. The cover photo is of a child jumping from a swing and caught in flight between sky and ground and depicts the glorious exhilaration of the Jiggy ideal: the safety net of Irish traditional music when applied to a wider canvas of ethnic, cultural and musical influences including World rhythms and nuances, coupled with compulsive dance moves, makes for a parachute jump into the unknown. Somewhere in between the cultural experiments of the Afro Celts and the trance-like rhythms of Kila, Jiggy inhabits a sound that is both rich and exotically dangerous. They have not neglected the subtlety of mixing and matching rhythms and musical ideas either.

The links with the Afro Celts are obvious, with percussion and bodhrán expert Robbie Harris occupying stools in both camps. They have a freewheeling collaboration of characters rather than a cohesive line-up but the core elements of Robbie Harris, flautist Éamonn de Barra, fiddlers Daire Bracken and Aoife Kelly, piper Éamonn Galldubh, sarod exponent Matthew 'Mattu' Noone and Indian percussion chief Koushik Chandrashekar remain constant, and they are joined by various guests throughout.

The roots are very much traditional, as is the source material in Crossing The Rhine, What Put The Blood and Paddy’s Lamentation, but more obviously worldly are the Indian chimes of T?l and the title track itself, a glossy effervescent concoction. This is where Jiggy stands out – creating a soundscape both ambitiously different and yet rooted in ethnic colours and coverings. It’s a heady mix and one that works, depicting the exhilaration and joie de vivre captured in the cover art. Hypernova is hyper at one end and novel sounding at the other - new and old, freshly ancient and anciently refreshing.

John O’Regan


This review appeared in Issue 133 of The Living Tradition magazine