Folk music in its basic form is a very simple concept. Executing it with style is on the other hand complex. How to tap into that ever flowing river of culture and tradition and distill something personal, something to call your own? Din Brad takes a bold and quite interesting approach to the matter by splitting up their release into two segments. The first half concentrates on the band's personal vision of Romanian folk music and the other half consists of traditional folk songs, performed by local Romanian artists. This certainly gives the record a strong feel of folk in its purest form.
Din Brad’s sounds are very lonely and bleak, resonating coldness and desperation. The singer sometimes struggles with her part, which results to some pitch problems, but in this case works well for the overall mix of the album, giving it yet another push into the lands of the dead. The sometimes horrible sounding instruments also work well, to my surprise. In any other case, we would have a complete disaster on our hands. Yes, I am referring to the pan flutes. The use of synthesizers still defies logic. If the goal is to achieve a stripped down audial environment, rich sounding synths on the background have a tendency to disrupt that very sensation. Although this is a personal statement of the band, I feel the synth should be smashed against some ancient Romanian rock out there in the fields.
The main problem with an album packed with Romanian folk music is the language barrier. The very essence of folk is the vocals and meanings. Not understanding a word being sung in extremely vocal driven music basically strips off a massive block of the listening experience. Judging by the overall sound of the band, it doesn’t seem too joyful, though.
Din Brad has done a good job in trying to reestablish old folk tradition to this day and age, but something is still lacking, perhaps a clearer vision or more extreme measures in production. Now it feels like the band is somewhere in between now and then, locked into a gap between the ages. With all the studio techniques in the world, the old could be brought back with grandeur. By giving Romanian roots a fresh feel, instead of just exposing them to the light of day.
I hope Din Brad continues on their journey and revitalizes the traditions of old with stronger releases in the future. Now we’ll have to sit back and enjoy what we have.