If you’re trying to guess the nationality of Asgeir and Mo, they’re Norwegian. Don’t worry, I also guessed wrong. Asgeir and Mo’s genre is also somewhat puzzling, but ultimately they fall under that foreign umbrella us Westerners call ‘world music’. Asgeir and Mo’s new album, Danza de Andalucia, is the type of easy listening that over 50’s might enjoy, but that’s precisely what makes it such a treat; it’s not something us young rockin’ things hear everyday.
Asgeir and Mo are comprised of Asgeir Aaroen who is a guitarist and Bjarte Mo, a violinist. Ultimately their music would be termed European classic/jazz, but it’s also an incredible hybrid of flamenco, Latin and classical influences. Asgeir’s guitar skills are not only magnificent, but are impeccably intricate and feature alongside Mo’s hasty and passionate violin. A few songs, such as “Sommarflørt”, also feature a fiery Latin percussion beat that gives some of the music a Middle Eastern vibe.
It’s obvious that Asgeir and Mo are highly concerned with aesthetics and have crafted arrangements and compositions that are not only beautiful and rich, but are highly emotive. In terms of its production and craftsmanship the album is an absolute stunner. The final track, “Sommarsong”, is the only song that features vocals and because of this listener’s have to rely purely on the instrumentation. Yet when listening to songs such as “Arabisk Samba”, Asgeir and Mo perfectly capture the feelings of heated romantic angst, while further down the album listeners are accosted with the forlorn and dark, “Minner fra Enerhaug”.
But for all my words on the beauty of Danza de Andalucia, Asgeir and Mo aren’t going to hit the mainstream anytime soon. For those unfamiliar with the genre, it seems like a treat we might hear in a Mediterranean restaurant or would be the soundtrack for a love affair movie placed in Italy. In other words, most of us would probably appreciate it for the atmosphere it can provide, rather than the music itself. Yet Danza de Andalucia will find its niche market on the likes of ABC’s Classic FM and will be adored by classical music proficients that can truly appreciate this sublime album.
Review Score: 8.1 out of 10.