Charge (’2014′ CD)
Monster Ceilidh Band’s third album Charge!, has long been honing its signature sound: the deft, subtle combination of electronically driven and traditionally influenced dance music.
Monster Ceilidh Band
Dave’s Flat Records MCB003 13.01.2014
Proper Distribution Ltd
‘Drum and bass ceilidh’… it sounds like it couldn’t possibly work.
But Monster Ceilidh Band, with third album Charge!, has long been honing its signature sound: the deft, subtle combination of electronically driven and traditionally influenced dance music.
And their track record proves it, too: appearances at Bestival, Beatherder and Glade are dispersed in-between bookings at Broadstairs and Sidmouth Folk Weeks.
Working again with drum and bass producer, The Touch, the band’s second studio album takes original fiddle and accordion-led tunes and heightens the groove with bold, relentless beats.
There’s ‘Alien Forces, which drops down to a familiar night-owl beat with whirring and whirling reminiscent of Ozric Tentacles, before the acoustic instruments are picked up and carried to a frenetic end. Then there’s ‘Vralkada’ which starts as a self-assured meander through continental Europe until the breakdown when the listener is whisked to a nineties-style free party in the hills, the PA glistening with the dew of the open skies and the breaths of the dancers visible in the cold morning air.
And breakneck beats aren’t always the focus. ‘Cosmos No2’ is ambient, atmospheric, with its footstep samples, sweet soaring fiddle and contemplative accordion meanderings, while ‘Grouse’s Revenge’ is as calculating and methodical as its name suggests. ‘Jack’s Back’ takes the music out to the street with cheeky flourishes and overt playing to the crowd – itself an homage to Andy C.
Vintage video game fans will also find their favourite sounds indulged in Charge!, no more so than in ‘Super Mario Smack Down’ – which contains exactly the kinds of bleeps and burrs as you’d expect.
Rarely are instrumental albums so varied in their approach, so daring in their innovation, so infectious in their charm. Game over.