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Written in fRoots issue 275, 2006


Own label VILD 1 (2005)

Alban Faust was born and raised in Germany, but emigrated to Sweden in 1988 and set up an instrument workshop where he makes Swedish bagpipes, whistles and nyckelharpas. Christer Ådin is, in partnership with Helge Ekvall, a well-known Swedish maker of mandolas and guitars and originator of the pin-point capo, a neat system of studs that screw into the fingerboard of a fretted instrument to capo individual or pairs of strings.
      In the trio Faust Ådin and Faust play the instruments they make plus melodeon and jew’s harp. They’re joined by Christer’s brother Anders on hurdy-gurdy, guitar and vocals, and there’s a guest vocal and jew’s harp from Ulf Gruvberg, he of pioneering ’70s-’80s band Folk och Rackare, Swedish radio and producer of Hedningarna’s Kaksi. Male vocals are still a bit of a rarity on the Swedish traditional scene, and this coupled with the absence of fiddles and prominence of mandola, either straight or with extended bass strings, bagpipes and hurdy-gurdy, and a varied set of songs and tunes from Sweden and Norway, give their debut album its distinctiveness.

© 2006 Andrew Cronshaw

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