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DUK'S MISS MILLIGAN'S MISCELLANY - Part 4

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Danish folk band D.u.K, winners of the 'Dance Music for the Future Competition' produce a set of tunes for eight previously unrecorded Miss Milligan's Miscellany Dances, and also four listening tracks using Nordic tunes

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  • Highland Laddie   (4x40)   Reel
  • The Royal Visit   (8x32)   Jig 
  • Lady Lucy Ramsay   (8x32)   Strathspey
  • Bromlan/Bøhmerdans/Pirvals   Traditional Danish
  • Lady Glasgow   (8x32)   Strathspey
  • The Monifieth Star   (8x32)   Reel
  • Æ Lam   Traditional Danish
  • Schottis Set   Traditional Norwegian
  • The Seagull   (8x32)   Jig 
  • Trinity Hall   (8x32)   Strathspey
  • Valse Set   Traditional Danish
  • Newington Assembly   (8x48)   Reel

Reviews

Grade 
13-12-2016

D.u.K’s Miss Milligan’s Miscellany:


It is not every review that offers the opportunity to cover Danish and Norwegian country dance sets among the Scottish, but the presence on this new RSCDS release of traditional tunes from the Nordics among a selection from Miss Milligan‟s Miscellany reflects both the Society‟s approach to new recordings, allowing four „band choice‟ tracks, and the band in question here: D.u.K was the winner of the Society‟s 2013 competition for new dance bands, the prize for which included the making of this recording. The mixed Danish/English heritage of the band is captured in the name, their choices for the four free-range items, and, to some extent the style of their playing.
The sleeve note sets out their approach: “our experience in concert music makes this a dance album with a difference, bridging the gap between music for dancing, music for listening through instrumentation, tune choice and musical arrangements.” For the most part I did not find the approach as radical as that seems to suggest. I certainly enjoyed the interactions of the four fiddles, piano and double bass, with changing and contrasting instrumental groupings, plenty of counter-melody and strong harmonic structure.
I found this less successful in the three strathspeys, each of which starts with a pared down texture (fiddle, a light touch piano accompaniment, no double bass), whereas I would have preferred a fuller sound at least to get these going. That would be particularly noticeable if taking tracks from the recording and playing them in isolation, for example next to an accordion-led band on an evening‟s dance programme.
Good as all the players are, Mathæus Bech‟s double bass was at the heart of much what was best about the recording, providing a really good rhythmic impetus, as well as underpinning the harmony, and some slick runs, particularly in the reels and jigs. The fiddle players – Kevin Lees, Jonas Kongsted, Federik Pustelnik and Christoffer Dam – create a nicely integrated sound together, well supported also by Rasmus Nielsen (piano and guitar).
I admit to not being familiar with the dances to which the Danish and Norwegian tunes are connected – perhaps something for the ambitious dance class to try out? All in all, an enjoyable debut presenting a different slant that might cause these dances to be dusted down and added to the programme.
It should be pointed out that in the flurry of production, the CD pressing has two dances that are the wrong length: The Monifeith Star should be 8x48R and Newington Assembly 8x32R, but they appear the other way round. Details are provided with the CD of how replacement tracks may be downloaded.
Published by Jeremy Hill in The Reel, RSCDS London Branch

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DUK'S MISS MILLIGAN'S MISCELLANY - Part 4

DUK'S MISS MILLIGAN'S MISCELLANY - Part 4

Danish folk band D.u.K, winners of the 'Dance Music for the Future Competition' produce a set of tunes for eight previously unrecorded Miss Milligan's Miscellany Dances, and also four listening tracks using Nordic tunes