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MASKINERI - Hopsa 101 

MASKINERI - Hopsa 101 
Go Danish Folk Music GO0820 

Maskineri is the Danish duo of Maja Kjær Jacobsen, fiddle and vocals, and Søren Vinther Røgen, guitar. Both are from Central Jutland and this is their first album together though they have played in other prominent Danish and pan-Scandinavian bands.

Some tunes on this album come from the late 19th century manuscript of the fiddler Anders Top Andersen from Kragelund. It was found in a Local History Archive, at Engesvang School - Søren's old primary school. Elsewhere there are some tunes composed by Maja. Waltzes played pretty fast and polkas predominate, but there are also hopsas; their rhythm sounds like what Northumbrians would call a ‘stotty hornpipe’.

Maja is a fine attacking fiddler with a great technique, and she plays with a sense of joy. She also has a fine singing voice and this adds interest and variety to a couple of tracks, such as En Pige Vandred En Have which seems to be a version of Fair Maid Walking In A Garden. She says she was sent looking for a Danish version of this after hearing Dervish. In fact, there is a wider feeling that this pair have made themselves familiar with the scene and the music of the British Isles; Søren says he draws inspiration on his instrument from Ian Carr.

Hidden at the end of the final track are some snatches of old recordings of unaccompanied traditional singers. They really made these ears perk up. They sounded for all the world like the older Shetland voices heard in the SoSS archives.

Vic Smith


This review appeared in Issue 136 of The Living Tradition magazine