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Written in Folk Roots issue 112, 1992

A Darker Passion
Green Linnet GLCD 1118

Just when I know this is just up my street I look around and don't recognise the buildings - how long have I been living here?
And the people are talking foreign languages - Latvian, a snatch of Scots Gaelic, Austin Texan.
      Like much of interest, Ingrid Karklins' music first circulated on cassette, world music's rough pen and paper. Now it arrives on CD - world music's shiny engraved marble slab.
      I don't know whether this can be described as good or bad music, as if that meant anything, and I've no idea what she's like or if she ever plays live, but somehow it seems the right response to being born an American whose parents presumably made it out of the impossible situation of wartime Latvia. Harsh, wild, delicate by turns, a disturbing gathering-up of Latvian folksongs, and one from the USA, with fiddles, Latvian kokle (like a 13-string Finnish kantele), keyboards, real and sampled percussion, electric cello, bass and - credited as an instrument - chaos. Karklins' music isn't Latvian or American; it's hers, and that's just the way it should be. File under "Sources of inspiration", but after pressing "repeat all".

1992 Andrew Cronshaw

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