Reviews

Pressestimmen zu „Bodhran Insight“

 

 

 

 

Irish Music Magazine, Mai 2010
Years ago when I got my first Dick Lett bodhrán, the drum was something of a mystery; even in Irish music, a handful of makers were known by an inner circle, players were thin on the ground, you’d hardly ever see a bodhrán in a session, outside of the Wren Season the drum was scarce. Then Johnny McDonagh and Tommy Hayes burst on the scene with new ways of playing, folk got enthusiastic and soon really good makers started to appear. Today you can get a drum for a few Euro off the internet from Pakistan or order a bespoke model that will cost you a week’s salary.

But as Wagels and Plüschke realised owning the frame drum is just the start, you have to learn to play it and that is where things often come unstuck. There’s a Perspex bodhrán on the cover of the album, a clear indication that the boys want us to see what lies beneath the arcane skin of the drum. The two lads have been running their bodhrán weekends in Germany for a few years now, so no better folks to show you how to hold a tipper, talk about top end technique or show you how to dampen the dreaded edge ping.

Guido has been playing the bodhrán since the 1990’s and is a recipient of the World Bodhrán Championship title which he picked up in 2008, Rolf is a member of Cara and the Hanover based DeReelium, he has been teaching at the Craicán summer school on Inis Oir since 2005.

The CD is a collection of 18 carefully selected tracks, each in their own right a standout performance, where the drum does what it does best, accompany the music, take 3 Bunny from the German band Steampacket, the tune is allowed to develop first before the bodhrán comes in and it does so with a steady repetitive pulse which fits the jumpy rhythm of the tune to a T. Yes there are bodhrán solos, and who would begrudge the lads a party piece or two and the closing track is a live take of Rolf having a great time on stage, but for the majority of this album is terrifically sensitive playing matching the mood and musicality of the sets.

The lads play with some of the finest Continental bands around such as An Tor, Cara, Steampacket, Garifin, Guido jams in with Brendan Power on a jazzy number, there’s even a song or two, one from Donegal based Ian Smith. The styles are modern and syncopated, no more so than on Irish Funky, here Guido is double tracked on the banjo on a number full of funky bass lines and a hot horn section. The CD is packed with surprises and has one of the best set of liner notes of the past decade. There’s a big story here, but for now, go and buy the album, it’s a winner from the German drummer boys!
Seán Laffey


North American Frame Drum Association, März 2011
[Bodhrán Insight] – This stunning new CD from German musicians Guido Plüschke & Rolf Wagels is quite simply the best frame drum recording I have heard in many, many years! This CD features very high quality recording and attractive packaging throughout. The music is just so alive with creativity and artistry. 78 minutes = 18 tracks in all with 8 featuring Wagels, 8 featuring Plüschke, and 2 tracks featuring them performing together. The CD’s concept is unique in frame drumming music – the tracks feature 2 different artists with some tracks compiled from a variety of previously released CDs and some featuring brand new recordings. You get to sample traditional types of pieces, bodhrán solos, and more modern sounding compositions but make no mistake – the bodhrán playing on this CD is not in the American lap style of playing with the hands only. By modern playing, I mean these 2 musicians are using traditional Irish bodhrán techniques both new and old but have come up with a wide variety of rhythmic and timbral expression that makes them sound as inventive (or more so) than modern hands only frame drummers! For those of us who play hands only; playing with 1 hand with a stick feels 2 like a hindrance but after hearing what these guys can do – I’m starting to think that playing without a stick is a serious handicap!

You won’t believe their previously unreleased collaborative Folktronica hip hop track “Luana’s Lane” with German producer Markus “Be” Brachtendorf in which nearly every percussion sound is crafted from bodhráns. The soulful Irish traditional sound of Wagels’ ensembles Cara and DeReelium are featured on a variety of tracks as is Plüschke’s work with Garifin and artists such as Colm Healy and others. Samba, funk, hip hop, jig jazz, traditional Irish jigs & reels, and an odd meter tune in 10/8 represent the musical variety you can hear these wonderful musicians perform in.

The CD’s English liner notes are very informative particularly for those of us not regular performers of Irish bodhrán (as opposed to American lap style = hands only). There are pages that detail the biographies of both performers – what a jaw dropper it was to find out that these two Germans had begun to play Irish music in the 1990s! Each track has details for the frame drum lover such as the types of patterns played (jigs. reels, etc.), manufacturers of drums used (Seamus O’Kane, Brendan White, Christian Hedwitschak), type of skin used (various types of Dragonskins and others), and type of tipper (from hi-hat to O-ring, brushes, top end, Kerry style, and others). Lavish photos of Irish bodhráns, the like of which you’ve not seen before, canvas the booklet and tray card from start to finish.

The range of timbres they can get out of their bodhráns with a variety of pitch bending techniques, unique skins, tunings, and a wide variety of tippers is some of the freshest and most original frame drum creativity I have personally heard in a very long time. The highlight of the CD are the previously unreleased collaborative tracks in which Guido and Rolf play together, particularly “Samba in Deep Snow” in which traditional Irish reel, jig, and polka patterns are fused with Brazilian samba.

Heard throughout the CD are wonderful performances of musicians on flute, banjo, mandolin, accordion, vocal, guitar, funk horn section, tin whistles, and harmonica, among others – like a good album by The Beatles, my eyes and ears were glued to the notes and music throughout wanting to take in every iota of the music’s empowering richness. If you’re finding yourself left behind with technique driven complexity or running from the endless drones of the New Age – give the gift of surprise and buy this CD for frame drum lovers everywhere! It’s a breathe of fresh air you’ll find as intoxicating as it is inspirational.
N. Scott Robinson



Guido Plüschke und Rolf Wagels sind zwei renommierte Bodhrán-Spieler und Lehrer, Wagels ist unter anderem auch Mitglied der Irish Folk Band Cara. Seit zehn Jahren geben sie gemeinsam Unterricht bei den Workshops während der in diesem Jahr bereits zum 20. Mal stattfindenden Bodhrán Weekends. Nun haben sie eine CD veröffentlicht, auf der sie ihre Spielweise anhand von Aufnahmen mit verschiedenen Musikern des Irish Folk demonstrieren und die Technik im beigefügten Booklet erklären.
Die 18 ausgewählten Stücke bieten in 78 Minuten nicht nur mitreißenden Bodhrán Pace sondern auch tolle instrumentale Sets, drei traditionelle Songs und eine keltische Techno Projektarbeit mit dem HipHop Sänger und Produzenten Markus „Be“ Brachtendorf. Das rhythmische Jig/Reel Set „Mysterious Images“ von Cara mit Rolf am Bodhrán eröffnet das musikalische Feuerwerk. Rolfs Band Steampacket steuert das atemberaubende Reel Set „Bunny“ bei und gemeinsam mit dem irischen Banjo Virtuosen Dessie Kalliher, Colm Healy an der Concertina, dem Gitarristen Cornelius Bode und einer Brass Gruppe hat Guido die „Irish Funky“ Reels aufgenommen. Beim rhythmisch-melodiösen Song „The House Carpenter“ mit den Engelsstimmen von Cara spielt Rolf das Bodhrán und die stille Ballade „Will ye gang love“ gesungen vom irischen Sänger Ian Smith wird von Guido rhythmisch begleitet. Ein besonderer Leckerbissen ist das gemeinsame Bodhrán Solo Stück „Samba in deep Snow“. Whistle Spieler Olaf Sickmann hatte Rolf zu den Aufnahmen für ein Album eingeladen und wir hören davon das ausgezeichnet vorgetragene Reel Set „His voice deep in my heart“. Dann spielt Guido gemeinsam mit dem britischen Harmonika Virtuosen Brendan Power und dem Kieler Bouzouki Spieler Michael Lempelius den „Jig Jazz“ und zum Schluss brilliert Rolf mit seinem großartigen aus dem Cara Programm bekannten Live Solo.
„Bodhrán Insight“ bietet dem nur-Zuhörer einen absoluten Hörgenuss und dem Bodhràn Spieler zusätzlich wertvolle Tipps. Ein gelungenes und sicher wichtiges Werk.
© Adolf „gorhand“ Goriup