Warsaw Village Band – Sun Celebration

Album Review | Jaro | Review by Liam Wilkinson | Stars: 4/5

Opening with a swell of shimmering violins, dripping dulcimer notes and pounding percussion, Sun Celebration proceeds with unrelenting currents throughout.  This seventh album by the Warsaw Village Band marks twenty years of the Polish octet with a double-disc plunge into the rushing waters of the band’s effervescent music.  And what music it is.  Uncompromising in their insistence on mixing sounds from a diverse array of traditions, these thirteen mesmerising tracks are sewn together by the common thread of sky worship and, like the mystical solar cults this album celebrates the music pulsates with mystery, passion and otherworldliness.  The double album is split into two distinct parts – #sun and #moon – with the first section providing much of the album’s most stirring and animated songs such as “Perkun’s Fire” and “Vibernum Orchard”, with their aching chants and percussive pulses, and the second introducing more languid and meditative tracks such as “Lull – Lullaby” and the wonderfully evocative “Towards the Sun” which closes the album.  Whilst the captivating and often inventive turns on such staple Polish folk instruments as Płock fiddle, dulcimer, Biłgoraj suka, hurdy-gurdy and baraban drum lend the album much of its irresistible magnetism, Sun Celebration reaches its most dizzying heights via the band’s enchanting vocals that, when condensed to a single strand can be notably haunting and, when stitched together in unison and harmony will often lift even the heaviest of listener from his seat.