Luneda (World Muxxic, 2002)
Galician sextet Laio releases Luneda a blend of Galician folk roots (Celtic) and techno. Laio’s music falls into the international Celtic category much like AfroCelts, (a multi-ethnic group that also marries roots music with modern technology). Various tracks including Herrera and Chic’o Cuarto easily draw comparison’s to AfroCelts’ latest release Seed. However, Luneda’s international flair recalls the French nuevo tango group Gotan Project who also mix bandoneon and programming and Finnish accordionist Maria Kalaniemi’s Ahma–just substitute wind instruments for strings.
However, I do not wish to give you the impression that Laio has been lifting tunes off of other Celtic or Nordic artists, for this group has created an original tapestry that came together after careful research of Galician’s traditional music. Brothers, Pedro and Pablo Pascual spent ten years collecting folk-roots music from elders who reside in the mountains (Paradanta region) of Galicia. Later, they transformed the traditional music by marrying it to samples, loops and contemporary trappings. Take for instance, the track Faj&Jasto which fuses funky hip hop beats with accordion, bouzouki and clarinet. Then the tune swings into a jazzy 70’s disco mode in which the trombone solos. Je Sacrifie Les Poulets boasts a French title and various traditional instruments reminding us once again that we have stepped into international Celticism.While the bulk of the CD is instrumental, three of the tracks feature guest vocalists. Canto De Reis, a traditional song that has been transposed by wa wa guitar that frolics with accordion, bag pipe and clarinet, features Sra Concha do Carnal on vocals. Her trembling vocals take on an instrumental effect, relegated to the background. Whereas, guest vocalist Ma Roman who contributes her Celtic vocals on Luneda and The Heat of the Sun, remains up front. Also joining Laio is award-winning bagpiper Edelmiro Fernàndez on Canto De Reis, Chic’o Cuarto and Xainda (written by Fernàndez).
It becomes increasingly clear with every track that this sextet enjoys exploring new musical frontiers while never losing their passion for Celtic music. And the group has shared this passion at festivals up and down the European’s West Coast and across Canadian’s provinces while collecting kudos from the music press along the way. Luneda only solidifies Laio’s likely success on the international scene. Most important though is that Laio joins other Galician artists such as Carlos Nuñez and Xose Manuel Budiño in revealing Spain’s Celtic roots.