Cauldstane Slap is the new CD from Belvedere Mountain Express and very good it is too! The first thing you notice is the cover, which features stunning photos of the snowy Pentland Hills near Edinburgh. In fact the area where the Cauldstane Slap Pass passes between the East and West Cairn Hills.
The cover photo complements the music perfectly, which is itself quite wintry in feel (of course this is complemented again by the current weather!). The music is a wonderful mix of accordion (which despite reminding me of the soundtrack of a South American film still manages to feel wintry here) electronic music and odd noises, including a rather manic sounding ticking clock (or possibly metronome) on the track Fireflies. All the music is performed by Howard Goodman. Some tracks feature the ethereal vocals of Becky Rose Fisher.
The title track is rather menacing in mood, which evokes the history of Cauldstane Slap - a drovers road that used to be known also as "The Thieves Road”. Border Reivers, Moss Troopers (bandits) and robbers galloped through the pass on night raids. Wrapped in their plaids and armed, drovers slept with their herds and flocks, to defend them.
The last track on the album The Last Livonian features a recording of the last native speaker of the Livonian language (formerly spoken in Latvia and currently being revived) complemented perfectly by the music.
Cauldstane Slap by Belvedere Mountain Express can be bought here.
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