(2018 – self release — Ukraine)
This is the second full length recording from Ukrainian world ethnic fusion duo who are a sure love for Dead Can Dance fans and groups like Vas. The two are Yaryna Kvitka (vocals) and Volodymyr Muliar (drums, percussion, taishogoto, wooden flute, keyboards, backing vocals). Muliar also does the recording and engineering. Folknery came up with their name by using a hybrid of American writer William Faulkner and the term folklore. It is fitting as this outstanding mix of music brings forth sprightly nuances, dreamy imagery, and exotic atmosphere in large helpings. One other artist they remind me of is early Dadawa (a Chinese female singer Zhu Zheqin , using the stage name Dadawa) , with their soaring vocals and soul stirring melody lines, often either with a sacred hushed indigenous framework or an epic heavenly wingspan.
What sets Folknery apart from all the others is their inclusion of playfulness, wide borders, gorgeous frequent use of cinematic flight, and endless avenues they travel to give a multi dimensional aural delight. Their adventurous composing and arranging are impeccable and the beauty is so unyielding, you sit in a trance the entire listening. Most of all, the two create inventive music, which is the best kind, in a world where generic music ruins the eardrums and minds of millions.
Folknery released their debut ‘Useful Things’ back in 2013, but it is released in digital format listed as 2017 on Bandcamp. The physical compact disc still floats around some sources and is more than worth your time and investment. Although Yaryna mostly sings in authentic early traditional Ukrainian, she breathes new life from various other world music into the pieces. With plenty of rich instrumentation, natural sounds, dynamic changes, grand touches, spirited rhythms, and their own brand of free folk, the audience is never kept waiting for anything.
This is truly one of the finest world music recordings I have ever heard. With all sorts of influences, and a sound steeped in ancient and modern echoes all at once, I was left in a calm, clear, and happy state of mind. The result of what these two musicians produced, is your reward in more than just a great listening experience. It is a cleansing of the stress, recklessness, insomnia, and worn out condition many people feel in this out of control world. I cannot recommend ‘Son’ enough. It is rare that I feel like a new person after listening to a recording, but on this, I did.
Reviewed by Lee Henderson 10 – 1 – 2018.