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Band Folk World


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"CD review: Fjalar"

»Any band with Norwegian percussionist Terje Isungset in it is destined to have its wildness nodes comprehensively tweaked. He's well settled in as a member of Groupa now, and is having due effect. His unique wood, skin, metal and stone kit is rolling thunder, breath and clatter under and around the rich drones and surges of Mats Edén's fiddles, the airiness of Jonas Simonson's harmonic and other lutes, and Rickard Åström's natural-toned keyboards, which are so well integrated and free from electronic plasticiness that the music remains meatily open-sounding and non-chordal, with Isungset adding high-energy jew's-harp zizz as well as percussion, like an earthquake in Santa's workshop.

There's that exuberantly hefty halling/ polska swing that Groupa and Filarfolket pioneered, wild extemporisations lurching into heartland traditional playing, and limpid pools of stillness too. On top of that are the just-right vocals of the other newish Groupanaut, Sofia Karlsson, who like Isungset is now fully integrated and takes an equal part in arranging and composition. With her, the band has turned another corner in its long and continuously interesting career, the backbone of Swedish new-roots since the early 1980s, for most of which (apart from 1990's Månskratt featuring Lena Willemark), it has been instrumental. In both song and instrumental terms, this album is another high point; fresh, full of melody, deftness of touch and massive energy.«
- Rootsworld 2002


»Groupa have become identified with Swedish folk music and all the developments in its recent history … more acoustic than before yet as lethal and dangerous, Groupa will challenge people's preconceptions of Swedish music … a band worth their weight in gold.« - Rock'n'Reel


Av bara farten (Amigo 1983 – AMCD 729)
Vildhonung (Amigo 1985 – AMCD 729)
Utan sans (Amigo 1998 – AMCD 721)
Månskratt (Amigo 1990 – AMCD 725)
Imeland (Amigo 1995 – AMCD 730)
Groupa 15 years (North Side 1998 – NSD 6010)
Lavalek (Xource 1998 – XOUCD 125)
Fjalar (Xource 2002 – XOUCD 134)



Groupa plays its own brand of modern Swedish folk music. Since 1980, the group has been in the vanguard of the Nordic roots music scene: deeply rooted in tradition, yet always embracing modern instrumentation and improvisation. In the music of Groupa, you find a composed picture of the traditions of yesterday, the whims of today, and the possibilities of tomorrow.

Responsive and confident while still impulsive and innovative, their music emanates from the band's three personalities' innermost passions. Groupa draw much of their musical inspiration from 'hallingar' (a specialty of the Nordic folk song form that could be called a celebratory holler) as well as waltzes and polskas, both traditional and newly-composed. All these elements contribute to the rhythmic drive that gives their music its own tone and colour.

Ever since the start, Groupa has been a very popular live band. The band tours Sweden, Scandinavia and Europe relentlessly, and have appeared at festivals like: Falun Folk Music Festival, Stockholm Water festival and Culture Festival, Urkult vid Nämforsen, Hultsfred - Sweden, Roskilde Festival - Denmark, Folk Festival in Dranouter - Belgium, Pontardawe and Wadebridge - UK, Leipzig Tanzhausfest and Rudolstadt Folk Festival - Germany, Violin and Village Festival in Maramures - Romania and many others. In 1987 Groupa received the "Volkkunstpreis F V S zu Hamburg".
In the spring of 2008 Groupa will release their 8th CD.

MATS EDÉN, fiddles and accordion
Mats have his roots in the rich soil of Värmland. A member of the band since its inception in 1980, he also writes the majority of the band's material. His violin work is at once elegant and jagged and distinguishes the band's sound with his own combination of the sounds of Värmland and of Norway.

JONAS SIMONSON, flutes and bass clarinet
Jonas have a completely unique and profoundly personal approach to playing the flutes along with the bass saxophone. He began with classical training, but converted to Swedish Folk Music and hasn't been the same since (neither has Swedish Folk Music).

TERJE ISUNGSET, percussion
The man from the Norwegian mountainside plains, where he left his conventional trap kit to ramble the timberline, following the voice within. With his unique collection of new instruments and free-ranging playing style, his work has become sought after outside of his native Norway. Isungset is also a pioneer in ice instruments.