CD Folk

Imar: a sonic adventure that may peak folk-prog fan’s interest

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Title: Afterlight

A five-piece outfit, this new folk outfit features members from the likes of RURA, Manran, Talisk and Barrule. More specifically, Adam Brown (bodhrán), Adam Rhodes (bouzouki), Mohsen Amini (concertina), Ryan Murphy (uilleann pipes) and Thomas Callister (fiddle). The musical background sounds Irish in style and is (although only one band member is actually from Ireland).

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An instrumental band, I began this review with a track called Into the Light. Uptempo, it hits the ground running and sprints along at a fast pace. The instrumental integration of the band during this and subsequent tracks is a real treat. There’s a real unity  going on here with a degree of technical skill that never sets a foot out of place. There’s more than that, though, there is an emotional synchronicity in place that I normally only hear in tight jazz groups. That is, this band merges as a single entity, moving almost like a shifting shoal of fish, twisting left and right and forming complex patterns in the water. The percussion is complex, the ethnic lines are varied and intricate while the time signatures vary all over the place, turning the music into a sonic adventure.

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Let’s get back to that track, though, Into The Light, I sat through the first minute with a ‘ho hum, here we go agin, folk, shmoke. Deriviative and bland.” But then there was a distinct ‘Hang on, hang on…’ moment and the track grabbed me. So uplifting yet technically impressive.

I reckon that this hardcore folk album could easily become a favourite to any folk-prog fan for looking something fresh and different. There’s enough depth and layering in the arrangement to draw the attention to any prog aficionado.

A spending collection of ideas, beautifully implemented and tightly presented.

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