Reclaimed from an 2010 project in originally released under the name U.N.I.T.E, a look at Europe’s uncertain past as it moved into an uncertain future. For 2021, now in the middle of that uncertain future, Transglobal Underground re-imagine the project, remix tracks and re-master the whole as a tribute from all who had to cross borders in the past to all who keep crossing them today.
A little over 10 years ago Hamid Mantu and Tim Whelan of Transglobal Underground travelled across Europe in search of songs, collaborators and a vision. The search took them through time and place through a library celebrating the multi-cultural past of Hungary, record shops keeping the last of the rebel sprit of old Prague alive, a studio built in the building of the Bulgarian Communist radio services, bars in Paris and cafes in Copenhagen.
The vision was to find songs of emigration and immigration across and inside the continent.
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 marvellous troupe of artists crosses those frontiers.
London based Bulgarian vocalist Eugenia Georgieva, leader of the Perunika Trio, renowned English folk singer Jim Moray and Irish singer and composer Martin Furey, both inhabiting the spaces between tradition and experimentation. And from Hungary, producer/programmer Lepes Gabor and stellar traditional vocalist Nori Kóvács.
The album is blessed by two special guest performances.
Stuart Staples of Tindersticks as the timber-rich voice of a lost English coal miner and Yanka Rupkina, the leader of the original Trio Bulgarka and musical cohort of Kate Bush, gave a rich and tragic performance of an emigrant worker losing her family. And a regular TGU collaborator, Czech/Senegalese DJ Bourama Badji, takes an Irish traditional song into a new dimension.
In 2021, the uncertain future has arrived and we present this re-imagined final version as a tribute from all who had to cross borders in the past to all who keep crossing them today.
NMR (foto: press Transglobal Underground)