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tirsdag den 19. marts 2013

Vestenvinden - Gummimasker - 1971 (Den) Progressive Folk

Here's one of the most obscure records in the history of Danish prog. A long-lost gem for folk fans. Vestenvinden (the Western Wind) was a Danish progressive folk rock band formed around 1970 in Odense consisting of Britt Rasmussen (vocals), Uffe Steen (guitar, clarinet, flute & vocals), Steen Råhauge (harmonica, flute, percussion & vocals) and Peter Martensen (guitar). The group was only active for a little more than a year, which was just enough time for the band to release a 7" as well as this album "Gummimasker" (Rubber Masks).

The main elements on the album is acoustic guitars and vocals. Great harmony vocals are very present and common on the album as well as good acoustic guitar patterns and nice melodies. Upon the first listen the album might not appear to be very progressive, but the tempo changes (and changes in general) will confirm the record as a prog album. To the Danish listener the lyrics might appear a bit predictable and even boring, but it seems that the group somehow knew this and therefore brought in pieces of Danish poet Inger Christensen's collection of poems Det. The group wasn't formidable lyricswise, but despite of that the album is really good with lots of nice improvisation and exciting passages, which keeps the listener intrigued throughout its 42 minutes length. The album features guest appearances from Niels Tuxen (guitar, piano, steel pedal guitar & bas) and Per Stan (drums & percussion). Overall the album reminiscent of a less medieval-oriented version of Tudor Lodge and a softer version of Comus. All this being said, this is one of the best Danish progressive folk records to ever be released, if not the best.

1. Marker Omkring Os (Fields Around Us)
2. Solen (the Sun)
3. Blå Æg (Blue Eggs)
4. Det (It)
5. Gummimasker (Rubber Masks)
6. Transparent (could mean Transparent, but could also mean Banner)
7. Byen - del 1 (The City - part 1)
8. Byen - del 2 og 3 (The City - part 2 and 3)
9. Vestenvinden (the Western Wind)  

Bitrate: 128kpbs (vinyl rip) converted to 320kbps

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