Reviewing PERKELT’S new album AIR AND FIRE (Perkelt Ltd, 2019)
From plaintive folk to the soar of an irish fiddle
Perkelt’s perfect music refreshes the western shore
From the east; as musicians both Czech and Celt contain
Air and Fire in this sublime album in which each element
Becomes sweet. Robin and Parakeet charms as separate
Songbirds enchant us, with Stephan Honc’s dextrous guitar
And soft singing and Paya Lehane’s soul spun voice,
Dave Maurette’s dundun drums, and Duncan Menzies
Miasma of fiddle, Lehane’s flute, and recorder and other
‘Rhythm makers’ deliver through sound the heart’s choice.
Morana extends their remit, capturing sky and cloud somehow,
While Little Prayer’s invocation and Honc’s word swirl
Chases birds. That Lehane serves with a voice that seems
To come straight from heaven, along with recorder
Moving through patterns played as fast as the sounds
God has heard. Air and Fire appears like a bank of cloud
Across landscape; the guitar arcs and covers the shadows
And light of Honc’s hands. Notes as transport, that recorder
Sets into motion, spinning us on towards beauty anyone
With an ear to the heart understands. Menzies’ fiddle cavorts.
Maurette spaces silence. The threads of sound claim us
And then warm us too as song soothes. What a cleansing.
How clear is the aim of the music. Song as sea, sky and country
From Eastern Europe to Eire each rhythm and sense truly move.
As the Celtic wheel spurs, in ecstatic travel the speed and need
For this music becomes all the more real. Waterflies sounds
Like proof, as Paya’s voice and jew’s harp call towards us.
Under the spell of her singing anyone bound is soon healed.
We learn how to feel through these songs as each aspect
Steals us away from the mundane and on towards
An entirely spiritual coast, in which the Dance of Ghosts
Is witnessed and even indulged in, as traditional Ireland
Casts shadows on the kind of truth we fear most;
That ours is not the ideal, and so these songs become
Timeless, the dextrous thread of recorder knitting the present
Air to the past. As we move across time powerful chords
And notes underpin us, creating fresh fabric to warm
And to clothe and to last. I’ll Be Right Back! Promises
And also delivers; Folk and funk find an echo in the ancient
Style the piece shapes. From old drinking song to seal
For seduction this piece has the power that only a kiss
Truly shapes. When the Water is Pure shimmers in,
Speaking of a romance long relinquished, in which the song’s
Story legends away, sounding royal. Betrayal concludes this enticing
Album, but this is a form of betrayal to which each listener
Should be loyal. Perkelt are perfect artists who know
That the muse is made to be captured. There is Clannad here.
There is Planxty. There is Nic Jones and Anne Briggs.
And then there is some lost ancient air that the force
Of this fire siblings; an elusive ideal music chases
And artfully claims. The soul jigs. And then it reclines,
To open up once more for you. So, ride on air
And dreams. Forge new fires. For this is a record
That eases trespasses and teaches all
Who have been hurt
David Erdos October 19th 2020
Live photos: Anouk Pross-Oosterhuis