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SKETCH - Highland Time

SKETCH - Highland Time
Skye Records SRCDX003

For those who don’t know it, Sketch is the brainchild of Iain Copeland, programmer and percussionist of the great Peatbog Faeries. They also feature Neil Ewart on fiddle, Angus Binnie on pipes and whistles and Seumus Maclennan on guitar. Others pop in and out as and when needed, including Gaelic singer Darren Maclean, Ross Ainslie and Ali Levack.

Highland Times, the follow-up to Shed Life, is about an hour long. It contains 12 tracks, all of which are high tempo to say the least. That is all I know for sure. I didn’t understand a word on the two paragraph press release where it talks of “techno-trad fusion” and “percussive loops” and “freewheeling improvisational prowess” – really does make me feel old I am afraid.

What I do know is that if I had read that first, it probably wouldn’t have made it into my CD player. Am I glad I didn’t? You bet I am!

I loved it from start to finish, and couldn’t care less how it was made or the techniques used (I will leave that to others who do understand to marvel at). Unlike some bands of the ‘dance type’, the sounds and rhythms move quickly on and don’t stay in one place too long, whilst featured instruments give even us old ones something to latch onto. It is a sign of how good the music on Highland Time is, that the last track, Goan Yersel, flies by, even at over 10 minutes.

So, press release firmly screwed up and in the recycling bin, it’s time to play Highland Time again, and again, and again and loud!

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 112 of The Living Tradition magazine.