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v/a * John Barleycorn Reborn, Dark Britannica (2cd 2007 cold spring / woven wheat)

Actually I had the impression that besides the “neofolk scene” which is part of the industrial scene or the gothic scene to use a ‘larger tag’, there was also some kind of “folk music scene” or maybe two, but with a variety of styles, etc. According to the booklet of this “dark folk” compilation, this is not the case. There were many bands making some kind of folk music, but not before the internet brought them together, all worked separately. This compilation is meant to give an idea of what is available and indeed, what you get is a varried compilation with all kinds of folk(y) music, from the traditional 60’ies sound so more rock, “psychedelic” and some neofolk. Of the two cds (a third one can be downloaded), there are only four bands from the neofolk scene, the rest is new to me. The compilation is a cooperation from a folklabel and Cold Spring and the first in a series to come. I have never really listened to folk music, neither is it really my thing, but “John Barleycorn Reborn” gives a nice overview of what the compilers call “dark folk”. There are very nice songs on the cds and also not too appealing. Both words in the term “dark folk” are used somewhat differently from what you may expect. “Dark” is more like “obscure” as in “outside the large audience” (including the ‘normal folk audience’) and “folk” does not really refer to a musical style, but to a certain background of the music. Andrew King has written a nice text about the modern attitude to folk music. “JBR” overall is an interesting project and music-wise the compilation is a nice cd to have on the shelve in case you want to play something different.
Links: special website, Cold Spring Records, Woven Wheat Whispers

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