Tursa : 2010
Format : Digipak CD
“Sintra” is a live recording of a performance from November 2009 at the Casa de Teatro de Sintra (hence the name) in Sintra, Portugal by two of the most respected names in the Neofolk genre, the consummate Englishmen, Andrew King and Tony Wakeford. This wonderful album was released on Wakeford’s own Tursa label earlier this year.
For those uninitiated, Tony Wakeford has a long and stellar career, with his roots going back to 70s UK punk band Crisis and continuing on with D. Pearce with Death In June. Most are probably familiar, if not a fan of, his fantastic project Sol Invictus, as well as numerous other projects. Andrew King is a talented Folk musician in his own right, as well as and accomplished artist and writer. This is actually the second release for Wakeford under the Duo Nior moniker, the first being with different musicians back in 2005. For this endeavorer, Wakeford handles guitar and vocal duties, which he shares with King, while the latter contributes percussion, glockenspiel and bells. I believe both men added some programming as well. There’s some nice ambiance added to each track. This disc is so brilliantly well produced, that if not for the audience approval at the end of each track I’d have no idea it was a live recording.
This set includes some amazing new interpretations of Wakeford’s and Kings’ own songs, as well as those of Sol Invictis and a track from Triple Tree, the project both men are involved in along with a variety of guest musicians. The Wakeford compositions live up to their forlorn, atmospheric qualities and transfer amazingly into the live ritual, while Kings’ own arrangements of traditional folk songs are mesmerizing and sometimes illicit such strong emotions in myself, I sometimes have to stop whatever I’m doing just to focus completely on the song. Both men are truly bards in the traditional sense, taking the listener on a journey through music and storytelling. Their voices complement one another so well, sometimes I lose track of who’s actually doing the singing at a given moment.
Limited to just 1000 copies, the disc comes housed in a nice 4-panel digipak. It’s available directly from the artists or through finer distros everywhere. Highly recommended!