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KLA 'Luna Park' Kla Records KRCD009

Kla is an Irish seven-piece band calling on a range of guests on their latest album. It is a band used to a high profile - for example it played to a crowd of 80,000 last year at the All Ireland Hurling Final in Dublin - and is probably reaching out to a younger and wider audience than is often the case for much roots-based music through its own distinctive brand of Celtic/world dance. The music is very direct and in your face but lacking some essential subtlety. The instrumental numbers are often engaging and more enticing than the vocal tracks.

The first track, 'Glanfaidh M', is a good example of the band's range of vibey and pulsating sounds but it is difficult to disengage all the complexity and it is an over long number with unappealing vocals. On some of the instrumental numbers the flutes and whistles provide the main interest but the vocal tracks are quite bland in comparison. The highlight number is Grand Hotel, which is a successful fusion dance tune with strong percussion a feature. The Mama Song is a world music track with an appealing upbeat tune. Some promising other numbers however are spoiled by just too much happening at once.

It would be good to be able to report that Kla is embracing the world music scene successfully but on the evidence of this album there is still some considerable way to go.

Andy Jurgis

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This album was reviewed in Issue 56 of The Living Tradition magazine.