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coverpic flag Germany - Full Moon 146 - 08/16/08

Werkraum
Early Love Music
Ahnstern/Steinklang

I stumbled upon Werkraum after becoming aware of the wonderful neofolk scene which seems chock-full of artists worth knowing. This genre is by no means well-defined, with links to for instance 'martial industrial', meaning that a wide array of different artists are connected to the neofolk genre, some retrospectively so. Wikipedia explains: "Neofolk is seen by many as an extension of post-industrial music into the folk music genre".

That said, Early Love Music is certainly on the lighter and folk side of the genre, being a collection of pretty straight folk music songs, partly early music inspired, beautifully drenched in love, loss, sorrow, hope and fairy tales, where the sparsely and mostly acoustic arrangements and array of different singers create a surprisingly uplifting listening experience, in spite the often melancholy melodies. Axel Frank is the Werkraum main man, but on this album he is helped by among others Robert N. Taylor and Nicholas Tesluk of the American Changes, Max Percht and Hajü from Austrian Sturmpercht (of which Axel Frank also is a member) and Nick and Chris Nedzynski from British Lady Morphia, all bands worth checking out. Also welcome are the female vocals of Antje Hoppenrath. With lyrics from the 19th century alongside new ones, some in German, some English, the album is still surprisingly coherent. Any psychedelic and experimental features are lush and for the most in the background of the arrangements, making this an album that fans of say for instance Fairport Convention could readily enjoy. I just feel lucky having discovered this record, listening to it is good for me.

Early Love Music is available as a double vinyl LP (limited to 500 copies), as a special edition wooden box CD (limited to 300 copies), and as a regular CD. The vinyl and the wooden box (both are exquisite packages!) have different bonus tracks, so completists be aware. Load up your PayPal account and visit Werkraum!

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