Kætter Kvartet - anmeldelser

Kætter Kvartet: Kætter Kvartet. Olga Musik. (Andrew Cronshaw in Folk Roots Magazine, 1997)

A second jolt for any doubter of the Danish revival comes inside the rather uninspiring packaging of Kætter Kvartet's debut album. These days Denmark is highly multicultural, and it's natural that anyone making present-day music with Danish roots would embrace that reality. KK very naturally combines the structures of Danish, or sometimes Swedish, dance tunes, which include such pan-Nordic forms as hambo, waltz and schottish - with the lift and backbeat of other, hotter parts of the world. A prime example would be the swingy, eminently danceable Hambo.

Most of the music here is by fiddler Søren Korshøj or mandolinist, guitarist and flute-player John Bæk; the band is completed by Svend Seegert's keyboards and drummer Peter Weis-Fogh (replaced since the album by Vivi Kristensen). As with DDD (red: Danish Dia Delight) there's a sense of fun coupled with excellent musicianship and bright ideas. Some European musicians struggle with the problem of whether or not to sing in their own language; KK not only sings in Danish but has invented African-sounding vocalisations that don't mean anything in any language (now there's perverse for you, or perhaps just egalitarian). Sounds like it would be silly, but it seems to work; some of these are the sort of up-tempo dancing songs that need sound, not sense, in the vocals.

Kætter Kvartet "Live" (Anja Beinroth in Folk World, Issue 8 2/99)
Label: KAT Records; KAT CD 98001; 12 Tracks; Playing Time: 50.03 min.

This is one of those live albums that sounds like it was all great fun and makes you wish you'd been there. It was recorded in Århus by Danmarks Radio P3, and the sound quality is excellent. So is the music, come to that.

Kætter Kvartet's music is based on the folk traditions of Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia, but written almost exclusively by mandolinist John Bæk and fiddle player Søren Korshøj Nielsen. It is all very danceable and infectious, with great melodies and inventive arrangements. They sing in Danish, but the booklet supplies English notes on the songs, which suggest that they deal with universal folksong subjects such as sailors' relationships to women, and the pleasures of home.
The music is driven by fiddle and Svend Seegert's keyboard, with Bæk leading on mandolin or backing on guitar, and Vivi "di Bap" Kristensen adding drums and percussion.
On the evidence of this fine album, Kætter Kvartet should become hugely popular in Denmark and beyond.

Kætter Kvartet "Den Sidste Schottish" (Anja Beinroth in Folk World, Issue 18 04/2001)
Label: FMS; FFS 0001; 2000; Playing Time: 62.02 min

The Danish Kætter Kvartet seems to specialise in live albums: the last one was reviewed in Folkworld 8. For this latest one, recorded at Tarm Festival in June 2000, they have taken advantage of the festival setting and asked a lot of guests to share the stage. Thus you have a mixture of "classic" Kætter Kvartet arrangements of Scandinavian dance music (mostly self-composed) using fiddle, mandolin/guitar, keyboards and drums, and extended arrangements using additional solo instruments or even a brass section (Guldhornene, on "Var det det det var") and a whole extra band (ROD, on "Wha'm no'e glæ'e").
A fun album and enjoyable to listen to but probably not an essential purchase unless you were there at the time.

Kætter Kvartet, Tarm Festival 2000, Palle Aarslev i FolkMusik nr 4, 2000)

En anden af de store oplevelser på Tarm Festival var Kætter Kvartet. Egentlig var baggrunden vemodig, for det var gruppens afskedskoncert og altså en af de senere års mest spændende folkemusik-/spillemandsgrupper, som skiltes for hver for sig at prøve nye musikalske udfordringer. Men koncerten blev heldigvis alt andet end vemodig. Den blev en musikalsk gravølsfest af dimensioner, som ikke blev mindre af, at en række af gruppens musikalske venner efterhånden kom med på scenen og på bedste vis var med til at sætte en flot musikalsk mindesten for Kætter Kvartet.

KONTAKT: Tlf. +45 4028 3490 - Email: johnbaek@stofanet.dk