This recording is really for non-purist…
The instrumental still looms large in Celtic fare, while in popular music it has been reduced to a mere footnote. It wasn’t always that way. The 50s and 60s introduced us to guitar instro kings like Link Wray, Dick Dale, surf groups from both sides of the pond like the Tornados and The Shadows in the UK and The Ventures in the States. Booker T & The MGs brought the Hammond B3 front and centre while Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass refried south of the border sounds for the summer of love generation. South Africa’s Hugh Masekala had us ‘Grazing In The Grass’ to the mellow tones of the flugelhorn, which Chuck Mangione picked up on a decade later. But today, an instrumental stands a snowball’s chance of breaking Billboard’s Top 100. That’s what makes the first listen to ‘Follow The Flow’ from Italian Y Gen quartet, The Sidh (pronounced ‘She’) such a delight. With the start of each new track, you steal yourself, waiting for a vocal to break the spell, but from start to finish, contemporary musicianship and arrangements reign supreme. Nobody would expect these fresh faces to play in their great grandpappa’s folkloric style, and to modern ears they push all the right buttons like an old tyme concertina. “Made of whistles and bagpipes, keyboards and percussions, Hip Hop and Breton beats, (The Sidh) are, according to José Ángel Hevia Velasco, (an Austurian piper who has pioneered contemporary Celtic instrumental music) able to recreate atmospheres with a distinctive scent of ‘future tradition’.” Most of the catchy, spirited melodies on Follow The Flow are self-penned by The Sidh, others offer new takes on works from another pioneer of contemporary Celtic instrumentals, Michael McGoldrick, Irish innovators Gráda and a sprinkling of traditional compositions. In Irish mythology a ‘sidh’ is a mound or hillock where faeries live. Follow The Flow is one of those rare records you can start on any track and expect something magical to emerge.
Review by: http://worldbeatinternational.com/
Official Website: http://www.thesidh.it/index.php/en/
Sopra il Livello Medio - Part 1 ("Get High" / Iain Marr Alexander & Federico Melato / - "Maid of Mount of Cisco" / Trad)
Sopra il Livello Medio is a set split into two parts, both parts contain "Get High", a simple tune written by Iain and Federico. This song was chosen as the soundtrack for the promotional video of an important festival called CELTICA Valle d ‘Aosta, in 2012. Within the first set you can find a famous Irish traditional song "Maid of Mount of Cisco" a track featured in many albums by various bands, this traditional tune has been linked several times to “Get High”.
Sopra il Livello Medio - Part 2 ("Cora’s Tune" / Michael McGoldrick / - "Get High" / Iain Marr Alexander & Federico Melato / - "Unknown" / Trad)
The second part was recorded in order to follow immediately from Part 1 if you listen directly from the Cd. A drastic change of pace was chosen to break the sound unexpectedly. The set begins with a beautiful song written by Michael McGoldrick titled "Cora’s Tune", the latter is linked to "Get High" then gives way to a Guitar Solo bySalvatore. The last song was discovered by Iain in the first album of "Dealan". The title has been repeatedly searched for but unfortunately not found, hence "Unknown".
Greenlands ("Hope" / Iain Alexander Marr / - "Greenlands" / Dan Ar Braz)
The festival NOVAARIA asked to The SIDH if they could arrange a famous tune called "Greenlands", hymn of the Celtic nations written by Dan Ar Braz, to be able to present to the Festival. Federico began to write an arrangement with the Piano and later created the basic rhythm together with Iain. Meanwhile Iain wrote a song to be tied to the famous hymn called "Hope".
Follow The Flow ("The Edinburgh rock / David Lim / - FTF / Iain Alexander Marr / -" Land of 1000 Dances "/ Wilson Pickett)
Follow The Flow is the tune that gives the title to the Album, an union of Hip Hop and Soul. The rhythmic base created by Federico provided a good basis for a variety of sounds. So Salvatore and Michael could build an excellent arrangement. 3 tracks are included as an overlay to this base: The first part of "The Edinburgh Rock" written by David Lim, "FTF (Follow The Flow)" written by Iain and "Land of 1000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett. Follow The Flow therefore sees the union of Celtic music, Hip Hop, Metal guitars, Soul Sounds, etc etc. A real mix of sounds.
The Legend of Sidh ("All in One Day" / Grada / "Sora No Hane" / Federico Melato / "TheSupernova Reel "/ Iain Alexander Marr)
All in One Day is a song composed by the band Gràda, one of the most famous bands in the traditional Celtic music World. Sora No Hane is a beautiful melody composed by Federico. It was written in winter 2010, as a rule in a different key, was then inserted into the set with the idea to create a more "Epic" sound. The Supernova Reel was written by Iain in the same period. It was initially made with the intent of being merged with a basic dancetrack (different from The Legend of SIDH). But as the piece developed its inclusion here was preferred by both boys. A version of this song was in the EP Fianna, but in Follow The Flow was rearranged and remixed with guitar and bass.
Aoibheann ("Aoibheann" / Federico Melato & Iain Alexander Marr)
In CELTICA, the The SIDH came into contact and created partnerships with well-known school of Irish dancing "Dominic Graham School." One of the young girls, Ruth, asked to Federico to compose a melody for a little baby who was born shortly afterwards, Federico wrote then most of the melody with the piano and Iain wrote the parts of Whistle. Then Salvatore and Michael have added bass and guitar to give the tune a full-bodied sound. Two great friends also played in this tune: Adriano Sangineto, a famous name in the Italian Celtic world and CaterinaSangineto his sister. Caterina’s voice and Adriano’s harp gave that little extra to the composition that transformsit into a real lullaby. The beautiful Irish baby named "Aoibheann".
Breton’n’Base ("La Danse du Phare / Federico Melato / - Tan Dezhi / Trad)
La Danse du Phare is a “virtuoso” piano composition written by Federico, his idea was to combine a Breton melody with Drum and Base. Then he began to create the rhythmic base on which to fit his tune. Iain discoveredan interesting song in a Breton Set of Bagad de Lann Bihoue called "Tan Dezhi". They decided to join La Danse duPhare and the bagpipe tune taken from Tan Dezhi with the Drum and Base, which explains the title "Breton’n’Base.
Charma ("Charma" / Iain Alexander Marr / "Tro Breizh" / Trad)
The idea behind this track was to create a piece that combined Rhythms Hip Hop, Breton melodies, African percussion and Arabian Sounds. Iain wrote the first piece “charma”, inspired by the north of France and thereafter began the search for songs derived from the Breton tradition. A set of Carlos Nunez was chosen, found in the album “Finisterre” called "Tro Breizh" ("Danzas Macabras"). Charma was presented in various versions,the first is present in EP Fianna, while the final version is present in Follow The Flow.
Where is Bernard!? ("Where is Bernard!?" / Federico Melato & Iain Alexander Marr)
It all started when Federico told a legend to Iain: According to historians, there was an intellectual who lived in the past, an intellectual with innovative and amazing ideas , he was called Bernard. Legend has it that Bernard had disappeared without trace, no writings or documents were found that could certify his death. Surprised by the legend, the boys decided to compose and dedicate this song to the famous disappeared intellectual disappeared. It was called Where is Bernard!?
300 Km ("The Bunny’s Hat" / Dave Lim / - "The Homer’s Reel" / Michael McGoldrick - "TheAsturian Way "/ Brian Finnegan)
This set is a little tribute to Brian Finnegan and Michael McGoldrick, two well-known Whistlers and idols of Iain’s. The Bunny’s Hat was written by Dave Lim, heard for the first time in a set played by Flook. This piece is adapted perfectly to the rhythm Reggaeton developed previously. The second song, written by MichaelMcGoldrick, was discovered by Iain in the first album of One String Loose. The Asturian Way was written by Brian Finnegan, adapted by Iain to fit with the rhythm of Dance and electronics developed by Federico. This song is enhanced by the entry of Salvatore (Guitar) and Michael (bass), unlike EP Fianna which was not.
21 Secolo ("Dansa Pa Dessù lo Fen" / Trad / - "Mrs. MacLeod of Raasay" / Trad /)
21 Secolo entitles the set of songs that were chosen as the soundtrack for the promotional video of the famous Festival CELTICA Valle d’Aosta, in 2011. This track was inspired by a desire to celebrate the joint heritage of Federico and Iain (Valle d’Aosta & Scotland). As such, two tunes were choosen: Dansa Pa Dessù the Fen, from tradition of the Aosta Valley, reinterpreted and rearranged by Federico and Mrs. MacLeod of Raasay, from the Scottish tradition. Arranged and joined together they are entitled 21 Secolo. In Follow The Flow the version is very different from the EP Fianna. The beginning of the song was recorded by Nicola Melato (Federico’s Father) with melodic Harmonica, inserted in an Irish-style pub, reproducing the original traditional song of the AostaValley.