Issue 18 4/2001

The FolkWorld Editors' column

The online editorial from Michael Moll

A new European trend?

Mercedes Peon with the Xose Manuel Budino band; photo by The Mollis Finally, after a longish time, FolkWorld's new issue is out now. FolkWorld is facing currently some organisational problems, as the editors are at the moment decentrally organised, one being still based in Germany, while the other is temporarily exploring the Swedish folk scene. This leads to some delays, yet FolkWorld will definitely continue - just be patient with us!

In the last issue we asked our readers to vote for their favourite three CDs of 2000. We are rather stunned by the result, as FolkWorld's readers are quite in tune with the Editors' selection, and as the Top 10 reflects a real European mixture. The Irish contingent, usually being the main folk music interest, is represented only by two bands, Solas and Altan. The Top 3 features the superb mixture of Mercedes Peon (Spain), Jaune Toujours (Belgium) and Spaccanapoli (Italy) - those are the same three acts the editors have selected as best 3 CDs.

We can make a couple of conclusions out of this. Either FolkWorld is very much up to the front of folk music trends in Europe, or FolkWorld is influential enough to widen the attraction of specific bands among its readers. At the same time - and this is possibly the most interesting question - you might conclude that there is a new trend in the European folk music scene, away from the typical and most famous folk music which is from Ireland and Scotland, to folk music from other European countries.

Lais, new Flemish Folk; photo by The Mollis It seems that the innovativeness and fresh spirit has a bit moved away for the moment from the traditional strongholds of folk music, to some specific areas of Europe, where for a long time only very few (or none at all) bands were internationally known on the folk music scene. Looking both at the Readers' Top 10 and at the CDs having arrived during the last year, it is quite obvious which regions are facing at the moment an innovative boom in the folk music scene: There is Belgium with its new Flemish Folk Wave, there is Northern Spain and there is Italy. These regions have produced during the last few years a really huge number of innovative bands just about to embark onto the European scene, and very much worth to be checked out.

My current stay in Sweden allows me an exciting view into the innovative new folk scene in Stockholm, being mainly based on students of the folk music courses at the Royal Music School. There is a lot of both trendy and exciting, and young but very traditional music around in Sweden right now, and it is only a question of time when this wave will cross over the borders to the rest of Europe. Actually the Swedish scene is quite interesting as it is rather different to many other scenes, as you can find out in articles in this and the following issues.

To prepare yourself for the summer holidays, we have compiled once again in an article some of the continental European festival highlights, to help you to discover there some of the new folk music trends.

All the best,

Your FolkWorld Editors.

Photo Credit: All photos by The Mollis: (1) Mercedes Peon with the Xose Manuel Budiño band; (2) New Flemish Folk: Lais

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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 4/2001

All material published in FolkWorld is © The Author via FolkWorld. Storage for private use is allowed and welcome. Reviews and extracts of up to 200 words may be freely quoted and reproduced, if source and author are acknowledged. For any other reproduction please ask the Editors for permission.

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