WORKS: Christmas and mid-winter songs from Europe and America
CATALOGUE NO: RUBEECD 001 (distr. tel 0131 620 0213)
A quick mention for DIES NATALIS INVICTI SOUS, a debut disc from Rudsambee (an Edinburgh-based a cappella choir whose Gaelic name translates roughly as ‘anything goes’), if only because of the groups promise to reinstate a few old pagan values into the now predominantly Christian symbolism of the midwinter ritual.
Sadly, the disc’s title song (Latin for ‘Birthday of the Undefeated Sun’) turns out to be only a tame contemporary carol, kitted out with doggerel verses of the kind you might find advertising a new brand of fruit bread (‘nutmeg and ginger, cinnamon, cloves, promise of sunshine baked into loaves’). Final score: Pagans 0, Christians 1998.