Boomkat Product Review:
The Firecracker clan gather round to tell the tale of ‘The Sorrow of Derdriu’, an ancient gaelic myth predating the ‘Cattle Raid of Cooley’, featuring smoky, psychedelic music from Lord of the Isles, Hoch Ma Toch, and Other Lands.
On the surface a tragic tale of a love triangle between a king, a young girl, and her suitor, the myth of ‘The Sorrow of Derdriu’ is also a metaphor for matters of national sovereignty, a concept sorely close to the hearts of folk in Scotland and Ireland right now. While that idea is never made explicit in the music, there’s an earthily rich and ancient sense of soul to Mac-Talla Nan Creag’s sounds and arrangements that suggest, whilst we might have hand-spinners and perfectly bevelled phones in our hands, not so much has changed over the past 2500 years.
Stemming from 2015’s ‘Mac-Talla Nan Creag’ compilation of works by Drew Wright (Hoch Ma Toch), Neil McDonald (LOTI), and Gavin Sutherland (Fudge Fingas, Other Lands), they’re now a group in their own respect, alchemising elements of instrumental folk and new age synth musics into their own strains of gaelic songcraft and impressionistic narration. In other hands this record could have come out like a string of cheesy cliches sounding like a 2-bit documentary soundtrack for the History Channel, but this bunch of Detroit, Dub, Jazz, folk and electronica fiends skilfully draw on a broad collective knowledge to beautifully and immersively carry gaelic storytelling traditions into the modern day. Gorgeous silk screened packaging too.