Bosnian musician Goran Bregović led for many years the successful Balkan Wedding and Funerals Orchestra. The new, sophomore album of the Danish-French quartet The Wøøøh offers a totally different version of such supposedly-ceremonial music, much more modest and sober but still very effective one on their own «Music for Weddings and Funerals».
The Wøøøh – Danish guitarist Lars Bech Pilgaard, reeds player Henrik Pultz Melbye (both play in the SVIN quartet) and drummer Rune Lohse (who plays with Pultz Melbye in The Hum quartet) plus French bass player Sylvain Didou, who runs the Ormo Records, released the first album six years ago, «Souvenirs, Souvenirs» (Ormo, 2013). «Music for Weddings and Funerals» was recorded live too at Pannonica, Nantes – Didou’s home-town – on February 2017.
The first piece «Wedding» is a focused but rich drone that develops its ecstatic crescendo slowly and methodically, layer upon resonating, thorny layer. This piece blends into a threatening, sonic monolith the lone, distant guitar lines of Pilgaard with the uncompromising, manner of circular breathing by Pultz Melbye and the tough, dense rhythmic basis of Didou and Lohse. The second, longer «Funeral» suggests a different approach. The free-improvised interplay of The Wøøøh is still focused and tight and sometimes still methodical but with a new mission, to deconstruct the sonic monolith built during «Wedding» from all angles and with all means necessary or available.
It would be wise to surrender to this kind of determined attack. Then, you may find that The Wøøøh merciless onslaught contain some effective dance moves, more wilder and outrageous than the ones offered by Bregović’s Wedding and Funerals Orchestra.
Lars Bech Pilgaard (g), Henrik Pultz Melbye (ts, cl), Rune Lohse (dr), Sylvain Didou (b)