Hildegard Von Bingen

Hildegard Von Bingen

by Garmarna


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Hildegard Von Bingen

Sweden's masters of medieval techno return with a quixotic project suited to their truly inspired musical mission. Abandoning for a moment their penchant for the gory tales of werewolves and limbless knights of Swedish folk music, Garmarna take the poetry and melodies of the 12th century Christian mystic Hildegard von Bingen as a starting point, creating a swirling, haunting soundscape of creaking Nordic instruments and tense electronic programming. The mournful sawing of fiddles and nyckelharpa -- the hurdy-gurdy or "sitar of the North" -- is accented by ominous guitars, conjuring a world of cloistered darkness that, at first glance, wouldn't seem to square with the devotional words of Hildegard. But the gorgeous, chilly, bell-like voice of Emma Härdelin, chanting in Latin about the glory of God and salvation, delivers on the trancelike promise of their 900-year-old collaborator's words. Where Vengeance, the band's sensational 1999 release, injected blood-soaked tales from Swedish folklore with agitated blasts of drum 'n' bass, Hildegard studiously adds skittering contemporary R&B ranging from Timbaland to the Neptunes -- the difference is most clearly seen in "Euchari," which appears on both albums. Here it's funked up enough to be a Destiny's Child anthem circa the Norman conquest. As you might have guessed, some of the band's folkie fan base will likely get off the bus here. But with any luck, those who continue the ride are likely to witness the birth of a chant/new age/dance floor sensation that blows Enigma out of the water. Wholly smarter and infinitely more groundbreaking, Garmarna's version of dance beats and Latin chants will appeal to spiritual hipsters and heretics alike.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/04/2001
Label: Northside Records
UPC: 0021561606326
catalogNumber: 616063

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