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FRIGG - Timeline 

FRIGG - Timeline 
Private Label FRIGG00010

If you already have all of Frigg's albums, you probably have no use for this compilation CD - although there are three new tracks and some nice graphics. If you haven't faithfully followed Frigg since their 2002 debut, then you should definitely consider Timeline. Probably Finland's rockiest folk band, Frigg is fiddle-led and feverishly exciting. The tracks here are roughly in chronological order and include many of Frigg's hallmark pieces which they still perform regularly. Jokijenkka and Norsken were both on the bill at the 2013 Edinburgh Fiddle Festival, despite coming from early albums. I was a little surprised by the bagpipes and vocals on several tracks - I know Frigg as an almost entirely instrumental outfit, with no blown instruments, but I don't have all their recordings and it turns out that there were other sounds on albums 2, 3 and 4. The bagpipes in question are either Estonian, or a reconstruction of Finnish pipes by Petri Prauda - either way they sound Central European rather than Celtic.

Timeline paints a detailed picture of this influential Nordic group, from the traditional Norwegian dance Lars Lenkifot, to the smooth Sibelius style of When The Time Comes I'll Be Ready, to the spiky modern whirl of Rajrajraj. It also presents an interesting glimpse of all the band members in their natural habitat, basking on a rock outside Helsinki harbour, revealing the vestigial tails which all Finns apparently possess because of their semi-aquatic lifestyle, although their actual fins are no longer visible. The new material on this CD consists of Hyvä Naapuri, a lovely slow 6/4 dance tune by Antti Järvelä featuring jaw harp, a trio of waltzes starting with Ale Möller's helpfully titled Potatisvals and ending with another Antti tune which was born and reared in Louisiana, and finally a fitting fiddle finale on Cross Country by one of Frigg's former fiddlers. The arrangements are superb, the playing is spectacular, and the Frigg factor is always something special. 

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 110 of The Living Tradition magazine.