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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Transglobal Underground Release A Gathering of Strangers 2021

By Angie Lemon.

As people move away from their homelands out of necessity or choice, their stories of family, traditions, sorrows and joys travel with them, beyond the borders they cross.

Transglobal Underground went on a mission a few years ago across Europe to find songs of migration and emigration which was first released as a 2010 project called U.N.I.T.E. (Urban Native Integrated Traditions of Europe) funded by an EU arts grant. This album is now being re-released in 2021 with re-mixes on “I Left My Sweet Homeland”, “Lisbon”, “Keranka” and “Van Diemans Land.”

A Gathering of Strangers 2021” is a reimagining of the 2010 project released originally under the name U.N.I.T.E. A collection of 10 songs made while travelling across Europe in search of songs of migration. The album documents travels made by co-leaders Tim Whelan and Hamid Mantu through Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Denmark, Poland and England.

Special guests joined the project along the way, including folk musician Jim Moray, Irish singer & instrumentalist Martin Furey, the definitive sounds of Perunika Trio and Stuart A Staples of Tindersticks. The album is a plea for unity beyond borders; an important statement from Transglobal Underground in these times of political transition and uncertainty. “A Gathering of Strangers 2021”is an inspired collection of traditional folk songs and world electronica performed with hurdy gurdy, violins, bagpipes, percussion, lap steel guitar, banjo, guitars, bouzouki, bodhran & whistles.

As Tim Whelan says,“The intention was to learn what these songs could tell us today about immigration, emigration and those shifting, never fully defined, continental frontiers in the present and future. A look at Europe’s uncertain past as it moved towards an uncertain future.”

A Gathering of Strangers 2021” is collection of international songs and releases on February 19th through MULE 20.

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