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Mouth Music
Swan, Mackenzie
Mouth Music
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Here's where world fusion really begins, with the marriage of Scots tunes (most notably in the puirt-a-beul--mouth-music--tradition, which gives the band its name), African percussion, and dance beats. Instrumentalist Mart...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Swan, Mackenzie
Title: Mouth Music
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rykodisc
Original Release Date: 1/1/1991
Re-Release Date: 7/1/1991
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
Styles: British & Celtic Folk, Contemporary Folk, Africa, Celtic, Europe, British Isles, Celtic New Age
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 014431019623, 014431019647, 1144310196479, 5020541109029

Here's where world fusion really begins, with the marriage of Scots tunes (most notably in the puirt-a-beul--mouth-music--tradition, which gives the band its name), African percussion, and dance beats. Instrumentalist Martin Swan and singer Talitha MacKenzie make a formidable and imaginative team, taking songs to places you've never dreamed of, all underpinned by a very fat 303 bass. While it all makes for great listening, "Seinn O!" is a true standout, as is "Chi Mi Na Morbheanna," with beautiful fiddle by Martyn Bennett. Out of this record comes the inspiration for Afro Celt Sound System, Transglobal Underground, and a host of other bands, but the album is more than a precursor. It's a joyous event in itself whose ideas and music still stand tall, with MacKenzie in particular emerging as a real star. Essential. --Chris Nickson

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CD Reviews

Musical echoes of the Scot Gaels
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 07/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Though filled with intricate rhythmic patterns, this music has a peaceful feel to it, and "mouth music", which is a style of Gaelic music intended for dancing, is performed to perfection by Martin Swan and his many instuments, and the pure and lovely vocals of Talitha Mackenzie. There are also the "waulking songs"; like the work songs found in every tradition, they have an energy that helps ease the time spent at labor, and lifts the soul from all that is dreary. There are two instrumentals on this CD (tracks # 4 and 8), and these also include the talents of Martyn Bennett, on small pipes, violin, and block flute. Bennett can also be heard on "Chi Mi Na Morbheanna" ("I See the Great Mountains").Recorded in Scotland in 1991, the sound is excellent; the booklet insert, though minimal, has the lyrics in Gaelic and English, and my only complaint would be the all too short length at 36:24.
Anyone with an interest in high-quality, out-of-the-mainstream music, might be interested in this unique CD. It is a blend of the old and new, traditional instuments and electronic, rustic simplicity and modern complexity, all blended with enough magic to make the elfin spirit in you dance."
Mouth Music...!?! Hmmm, where can I find a copy of this?
Alejandra Vernon | 09/20/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Everyone who's heard this recording has commented at first, "What the heck is that?" This comment is quickly followed by "Where did you find this - can I still get a copy?" (My copy is very old - still in tape media form... I "was" (thanks to looking for this on CD media format.If you enjoy fusion music - in this case, the roots of Celtic mouth music with a strong American influence, you will definitely enjoy this music collection. The fusion is seamless, compliments of Mickey Hart (drummer for the Grateful Dead band and independently of , "Planet Drum" fame) thus, creating a universal sound. If you like adventure in sound, try this one out. You won't be disappointed! Had this been released with English lyrics it definitely would have hit the best seller charts in America!"
Not for traditionalists, but wonderful
Alejandra Vernon | 10/14/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've loved this cd for years--for some reason the public library had it where I used to live. When I moved, I had to buy my own. Talitha McKenzie is the vocalist here; beware, the other titles by "Mouth Music" have different vocalists. You want this one. I've listened to it so much that sometimes I think I know the lyrics (they've stopped being Gaelic to me; accompanied by the translations in the booklet, you can learn their meanings). Favorites are Bratach Bana and Chi Mi Na Morbheanna. I think Enya, Loreena fans might be open to this--maybe even fans of Sinead O'Connor's first album. Atmosphere-laden without feeling like new-age wallpaper."