Marin/Marin - Press Reviews

Marin/Marin - Skuggspel

Married couple, Mia and Mikael Marin, present their third duo album. I reviewed the couple's first album here in Lira (Mot Hagsätra, 2008). I wrote that they were a violin duo that surpass most in the genre. So it is now on the new album, Skuggspel. Both play five-stringed instruments, Mia on violin and Mikael on viola. The number of strings playing is not that important, but rather how they handle those strings. And oh, how well they handle them. This is absolutely world class. Marin/Marin renew and develop traditional fiddle music and offer hope for the future.  About half of the tunes on the recording are composed by them. I get excited listening to Vadmalsglitter. Mia’s fine tune showcasing Mikael’s plump chop n’ groove technique where he guides the viola to act as both second voice and percussion. The traditional Skrap-Ollas Polska sets the tone right away, a glowing interplay of an old tune with a modern luster.  Phenomenal.
Lars Lind, Lira Music Magazine

Marin/Marin - Skuggspel

It is hard to imagine a more glorious blend of violin music than on this new CD with Mia and Mikael Marin.  Everything from a contemplative, evocative, dark-toned 17th Century Polska after Israel Bergman, some elegant, delicate polonaises from the same time period, to their own playful innovations in Polska form and Irish folk music.  And to crown the package, a twisted Swiss roll of a tune that sounds as if it comes from some old yodel disc.  Mia and Mikael Marin both play viola, which gives a nice weight and timbre. Their distinctive rhythm makes percussion superfluous, and their dynamic playing allow every single phrase to breathe. Their masterful playing breaks the boundaries between folk and art music.  
Best track: Polska after Israel Bergman
Ulf Gustavsson, UNT

Mikael Marin and Mia Gustafsson - Mot Hagsätra

As the violist for Väsen for nearly twenty years, Mikael Marin needs no introduction among followers of Swedish traditional music. Marin's wife Mia Gustafsson is not nearly as well known, but she has fiddled with the group [ni:d] who have one album out and are working on a second. Their first album together is titled Mot Hagsätra, in reference to a Stockholm subway line. Marin's viola and Gustafsson's fiddle are the only instruments on this recording. A handful of the tunes are traditional, and the tune "Cajunvals" was composed by Antti Järvelä of Frigg, but most of the pieces were composed by one of the two performers.

Predictably, Mot Hagsätra's biggest strength is the playing. Gustafsson is a fine fiddler who more than holds her own playing next to her husband and handling a wide variety of melodies. Marin, as he does in Väsen, supplies creative harmonies and countermelodies. There is no driving guitar or percussion on this album, so the listener can focus fully on the interplay between the two stringed instruments.

The album contains a typical assortment of polskas, along with a few waltzes and one schottisch and reel apiece. In contrast to what you might expect from a Väsen recording, the arrangements are quite easy on prospective dancers. Waltzes appear to be the duo's strongest suit. The opening tune "Hjärtklappen" sets the tone for the CD perfectly, and their joyous version of "Cajunvals" is my favorite track on the CD. The Swedish reel "Kung Harts," composed by Gustafsson for Marin's birthday and performed with the usual melody/harmony roles reversed, is another particularly strong track. 

(...) Mikael Marin and Mia Gustafsson give solid performances throughout, and the album on the whole is at least as good as the most recent Väsen CD Väsen Street. Fans of Väsen who are in the mood for something with a more purely traditional feel will like this recording a lot.
reviewed by Scott Gianelli

Marin/Marin -  Småfolket
Fiddles with power and lust
Mia and Mikael Marin play bright and dark fiddles with power and lust.
A vitamin injection.

They wrestle and bicker. They cuddle, caress their instruments and express great joy as their melodies find their winding ways. They are within and around each other.The tribute to "Erlandsson" is short, askew and wonderfully grouchy. "The free Maria" is a frisky whirl with Mia Marin's twittering play.The duos new and fresh music is so captivating and lasting, that "Småfolket" may be one of the most progressive folk fiddler albums of the 21-st century. The music is like an embrace, creating an atmosphere without prestige."Menuet after Gustav Blidström" moves slowly and steadily with muffled steps. "Have you heard it before" has a nagging and repetitive melody with humorous turns.M Marin and M Marin light up a new and courageous path, like two lighthouses, in the old and grey folk music fog. Lars Åbom

Marin/Marin - Småfolket

Playing second voices is a great art. In swedish traditional music it is often the second voices that give the tunes their marrow and drive. Good harmony players never have trouble finding people to play with – they are highly valued.

The married couple Mikael and Mia Marine are both accomplished harmony players. Mikael plays in Väsen and Mia in MP3 (Mattias Pérez trio) and other bands.Together they form the duo Marin/Marin who are now releasing their second album, ”Småfolket”. Their first album was ”Mot Hagsätra” (2008) which got great reviews in the press.

On the new album they both play five stringed instruments, Mikael viola and Mia violin. They play with such a big sound that sometimes they sound like a whole string quartet. The tunes, mostly their own compositions, are cleverly arranged, almost like chamber music, but still very personal. Traditional music of today is being made here, with caution and warmth. Two tunes stand out: ”The free Maria”, with a jazzy sound. And ”Damn Marines!” with great Väsen-groove.
Magnus Börjesson

Marin/Marin - Småfolket
Top class duo

Married couple Marin in brilliant shape on their second album. Mikael and Mia Marin's second CD is a luxurious feast for fiddle lovers. On their five string fiddles Mia and Mikael play one super tune after another. Their own tunes and others, performed with air and joy with bold and clever dialogues from left and right. Incredibly elegant and at the same time so personal and alive!


More reviews will be posted as soon as they are translated into english.


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