- 21 Feb 20
Irish trad-fusion collective return with genre-muddling sophomore effort.
Their promise to bring “a whole new exotic flavour” to trad is enough to send folk purists into fits of agony – but that hasn’t stopped the viral success of Jiggy. Embracing a madcap concoction of traditional Irish instrumentation, world music rhythms and danceable grooves, the collective have built a reputation for blurring the lines between genres – often to dizzying extremes, as evidenced on their new album, Hypernova.
In an age of deeply authentic and fearlessly original Irish folk, ‘trad fusion’ has taken on some negative connotations – with many relating it to the more uncomfortable musical excesses and heavy-handed production techniques of the ‘90s and early ‘00s. While the modern movement has carved Irish folk down to its rawest roots, Jiggy unselfconsciously throw this approach to the wind – slamming together beatboxing (‘Road To Errogie’), Irish language rap (‘Man Of Aran’), hip-hop beats (‘Crossing The Rhine’) and even Indian vocal percussion (‘Back To Belfast’).
The result will surely provoke a few head-scratches, but from start to finish, Hypernova is anything but dull. Indeed, whenever the vocals and instrumentation are offered the rare space to breathe organically, Jiggy are compelling. Distancing themselves from novelty-act accusations, they channel their sound to tackle contemporary issues – with standout single ‘Friday’s Child’ poignantly exploring the future of the Irish border.
True to its namesake, Hypernova is a cosmic explosion of energy – and all 13 tracks beg to be heard in a live setting, where the stunning musicianship can step away from crippling overproduction, and truly shine.
Out February 22.