Label: Auerbach Tonträger/Prophecy Productions
Review by Alessandra Cognetta
The Moon And The Nightspirit is a Hungarian duo that creates a blend of pagan folk and medieval music. The two musicians started the project in 2003 and “Holdrejtek” is their fifth album to date. There are two very peculiar elements to their production, constant throughout their career: they are both multi-instrumentalists and all the lyrics are in Hungarian. This, coupled with the use of traditional instruments such as the Mongolian morin khuur (a bowed string instrument) and a distinct vocal style, makes The Moon And The Nightspirit a beacon of quality in the folk scene.
“Holdrejtek” is an album that perfectly depicts the musical identity of the duo, following in its predecessors’ tracks. But The Moon And The Nightspirit is also able to create something different, adding a new dimension to their already rich sound. The opening track, “Mohaszentély”, is already meaningful in this regard, as it quietly leads us into the album, creating an eerie and evocative atmosphere, aided by the sounds of nature. Ágnes’s light, multi-layered voice alternates with Mihály’s darker timbre, without intruding too much or overcoming the other instruments. There is perfect balance. Ágnes’s voice is once again our guide in the mysterious “Magban alvó”, where the music seems to come from a distant place in the East. Taking a look at the translations of the lyrics shows how much attention and craft went into the songwriting even though most listeners can’t understand Hungarian, as the words shift from cryptic poetry to narrative verses. Then again, the sound, the instruments and the voices are so well-combined that they are able to convey entire worlds even without uttering a single word. This is, without a doubt, what struck me the most as I was listening. The incredible ability of The Moon And The Nightspirit to create images of Medieval, almost fantasy landscapes with notes alone. At the same time, all the “interpretation duties” are left in the hands and ears of the listener, giving them true freedom.
It’s quite difficult to pick a song in particular to discuss, because in my opinion the album works perfectly as a whole. Among my personal favourites are “Bolyongó”, the dynamic percussions of “Tavaszhozó” and the dreamlike “Holdrejtek”. Ágnes and Mihály have created something unique, an album of quality and passion that is definitely a must for fans and a strongly recommended pick for those who approach folk for the first time, as “Holdrejtek” is set on the right way to become a milestone of the genre.
Rating – 87/100
- Magban alvó
- Mikrokozmosz pt.1
- Mikrokozmosz pt.2
- Ágnes Tóth – Vocals, violin, morin khuur, woodwinds, dulcimer, piano, percussions
- Mihály Szabó – Vocals, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, kalimba, dulcimer