Link to Living Tradition Homepage





GANGSPIL - Gangspil 2 

GANGSPIL - Gangspil 2 
GO Danish Folk Music GO1219 

The 28 tracks of this double-CD set offer a virtual tour of traditional folk music from the many regions of Denmark. Your experienced and versatile guides are accordion and harmonica player Sonnich Lydom and fiddler Kristian Bugge. Both sing as well (and are helped by a half dozen friends on the CDs). The material comes from traditional players, old tune books and other sources. The duo adopted the name of Gangspil, which was originally the title of their first album in 2015 (it means “capstan” in English). They won the Tradition Award at the Danish Music Awards (Danish Grammy) in 2016, and have played in bands such as ULC, Baltic Crossing and Habadekuk.

The release opens with two dandy waltzes (Tyrolervalse), and throughout, their great duo playing highlights the close relationship between the fiddle and the accordions. Some tracks have a solid energy, such as Bornholm 6/8 / Viborg 2ture or 2tur / 4tur, but there are also more lyrical tunes like Bornholmervals, or the medieval-sounding Bræmsen Og Fluen. Some of the vocal pieces, such as Mikkel Ræv or Bonden Og Smeden, have a Quebecois feel, with a sing-and-response style of chorus. This is no surprise, as Sonnich is also a master of French-Canadian accordion.

This release will, rightfully, prompt many to sit up and take notice of the wealth of Danish traditional music. Grand sounds, delightful spirit, even a bit of authentic hygge here and there. It is a reverent and vibrant archive of the past, made with obvious devotion.

Ivan Emke


This review appeared in Issue 135 of The Living Tradition magazine