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FRIGG - Frixx 

FRIGG - Frixx 
Private Label FRIGG00013 

Fans of alliteration will be pleased by a publicist’s description of Frigg as a “sizzling Scandinavian septet”, although “…string septet” might have been specified: it’s a four fiddles, mandolin, guitar, double bass line-up. The band, from Finland, has been together 20 years – hence the XX in the album title.

The Frigg fiddlers usually favour a bright, upper strings sound, in contrast to, say, the viola-enhanced dense power present in some Kinnaris Quintet repertoire. (I would suggest, nonetheless, that there are some similarities between the two groups.) The opening track, Juhlamarssi, is a stately tune, and there is no markedly fast music until the Häkkisen Riili (track 4), one of a couple of tracks with a country/bluegrass influence. Frigg is also known, apparently, for having an edgy aspect, but there is nothing to frighten the neighbours here… except perhaps for the guitar riff at the beginning of Jouko-Taiga, which sounds like a relative of Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water! Nearly all the tunes are band members’ original compositions, by the way.

Folkies fond of the frantically exciting might find some of this material over-tasteful, but the music is delivered with great spirit and a fine ear for dynamic contrast. In fact, if you like albums with a good combination of fast and slow, loud and quiet, this should suit your requirements splendidly. It is a recording that should please both existing Frigg fans and new followers – as one of the latter, I will not be allowing dust to gather on this CD. Play and enjoy!

Paul Mansfield


This review appeared in Issue 133 of The Living Tradition magazine