The trio La Musgaña, based in Madrid and specializing in the folk music of Central Spain, have been playing together for 20 years -- and although they've released six albums over the course of their career, this is their first release in a decade. It finds the group continuing to explore the surprisingly varied melodic and lyrical traditions of its home region, traditions informed by influences as diverse as North Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Celtic lands. Sometimes you hear those influences sequentially: on "La Rueda del Tiempo" a vinegary clarinet evokes the modal melodies of klezmer music, and is then displaced by multi-tracked flutes; on "Aguasvertientes" a hurdy-gurdy creates a distinctly medieval flavor, and then that track is followed by an Irish-sounding jig. But sometimes you hear the various musical elements layered on top of each other, such as on "Aires de Burgos" (a slow air that sounds like a blend of Spanish and Celtic influences) or "Danza del Rey Nabucodonosor" (where the hurdy-gurdy and clarinet dance around each other in counterpoint). All in all, this is a fascinating and thoroughly delightful exploration of Spain's diverse musical traditions.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson