Picking up where Matmos’s The Civil War left off, Prototyp applies the cut-and-paste synthesizer stamp to another old folk instrument: the hurdy gurdy. Comprised entirely of sounds produced from the hurdy gurdy, but run through laptops to rearrange the natural emanations into rhythm, melody, percussion and so on, this Scandinavian duo capture just about every conceivable sound this “medieval synthesizer” can muster, natural and bizarre alike. Unlike Matmos’s absurd and spooky revisiting of Civil War-era folk tunes, Hurdy-Gurdy sticks fairly close to the standard jig and reel traditionals the hurdy gurdy was originally built for and remixes them for the club scene. In light of this, it becomes a question of how much variation in the rhythm and melody you require to keep your interest from waning. If your answer is more than “slight,” you might have a problem here. In fact, it’s hard to recommend this to anyone outside of the sect of world music listeners who enjoy a contemporary slant to their archaic instruments. Not bad, just highly taste-specific.


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