The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

EN­SEM­BLE ÉRIÚ Im­bas ★★★★ Raelach Records In­tensely cere­bral, En­sem­ble Ériú’s sec­ond al­bum cap­tures the lat­eral-think­ing septet as they con­tinue to forge new ground. The usual tropes of trad are spar­ingly ob­served, al­low­ing the fresh­faced amal­gam of con­certina, fid­dle, clar­inet, gui­tar, dou­ble bass, marimba and drums to flex their mu­si­cal mus­cle with free­dom. Clare in­flu­ences are tan­gi­ble and caps are duly doffed to Wil­lie Clancy, Tony MacMa­hon and oth­ers, but En­sem­ble Ériú’s thor­oughly mod­ernist ap­proach sees them in­vig­o­rate tra­di­tional tunes, some­times sim­ply by trans­pos­ing the ex­pected (Mi­cho Rus­sell’s whis­tle) with an un­likely pair of in­ter­lop­ers (Jack Talty’s con­certina joust­ing with Neil O’Loghlen’s dou­ble bass). The ti­tle

Im­bas is aptly cho­sen, as it’s an old Ir­ish word mean­ing in­spi­ra­tion, cre­ativ­ity and prophetic knowl­edge. Cool-headed and even-handed, Ériú’s groove reigns supreme. en­sem­ SIOBHÁN LONG

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