Croft No. Five,
Attention All Personnel
(Foot Stompin', 2001)

I like Celtic rock, and Croft No. Five's Attention All Personnel is full of good music. They add electronic sampling and touches of funk to the usual Celtic rock mix for a unique and very exciting sound.

I'm a big fan of traditional fiddle accompanied by a rock bass, but juxtaposing the fiddle with a funk bass line was a revelation. Both are so assertive in their own ways that it's hard to imagine them coming together in a coherent whole, and yet Croft No. Five made it happen. The thirteen tracks are generally around five minutes each, giving them enough time to explore the tunes -- something I really appreciated.

"Release da Hounds" is a good example of the Croft's range. It begins with very traditional Celtic sounds, then adds that funk bass and dance club samplings in a track with several distinct textures woven together. "Phat Jigs" is a bit more straightforward, with a heavy funk bass under some superb fiddling. "Knightmare" takes a similar approach, but emphasized the bass more while moving between several distinct tunes on the fiddle, both slow and quick.

I love the name of the song "Rancid Maidens," and the song's good, too -- it's probably the least clearly Celtic of the pieces, with the Celtic elements accenting the funk rather than the other way around. Strange and wonderful.

The liner is very terse, with most of the text thanking a long list of people and most of the space in the liner devoted to atmospheric art. I wish they'd included more information on the music and the band itself.

Celtic rock fans should check out Attention All Personnel for a different and exciting take on the Celtic-rock mix. This also might be a gentle introduction to Celtic music for those who generally prefer funk or dance mixes. Croft No. Five is doing some wild and innovative work here, and I look forward to hearing what they come up with in the future.

[ by Amanda Fisher ]
Rambles: 10 November 2001