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Väsen street

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Album Review

It's a welcome return for one of the most delightful outfits in instrumental music. Although Väsen might be Swedish, their tunes speak an international, sparkling language. Forget the fact that there are plenty of polskas and schottisches here, and revel in the joy of the playing and the interplay between the musicians (as well as "Absolute Swedish" and "Hagsätra Brudmarsch," which both feature guests). They might seem like a well-oiled machine by now, since this celebrates their 20th anniversary, but they keep coming up with surprises, like the beautiful "Eklunda Polska Nr. 3," learned from an old fiddler, or the high-wire delicacy of "Yoko." Of course, by now they know one another so well that a kind of telepathy operates between the trio members. Their roots in folk music offer a grounding for their own compositions, which travel everywhere and take in everything, like the deliberately lumpy "Garageschottis." To be fair, they don't really break any new ground here, but they don't need to; there's plenty to explore in the hidden corners of their world, and they do it so well.


Formed: 1989 in Sweden

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Väsen is a group of four of Sweden's best musicians who have, between them, been featured with dozens of Swedish and international groups, ranging from nyckelharpa orchestras and Swedish traditional bands to the Kronos Quartet and the chart-topping folk-rock band Nordman. Väsen's music is a uniquely beautiful combination of the traditional sounds of the viola and nyckelharpa (a keyed fiddle unique to Sweden), and the more modern sounds of alternatively tuned 12-string guitar and percussion ensemble....
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Väsen street, Väsen
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