Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Origami Arktika – Trollebotn

Once you get past the wince-worthy name this folkloric Norwegian band makes up with fireside balladry that calls to mind a mead-headed Circle or electricity-free Current 93. Recording in the region of Seljrod the band, whose ranks swell and contract from 7-10 members, excavate traditional folk songs of the area and give them reverent yet slightly askew treatments. Singer Rune Flaten’s warm narrow-ranged vocal easily casts us back to pre-Plague times and song cycles for beautiful heartbroken ladies. The band both plays and manhandles their instruments into making occasional non-proscribed sounds. The ceremony is steered by new drummer Kjell Runar A159’s (the numbers are doled out based on the person’s order of entry into the “Origami Republika”… I think?) loose meandering beat, keeping the sometimes trancelike instrumentation from suffering the crush of gravity. While the majority of the tracks grow out of some dark root, “Fanteguten” is a lighter narrative guiding “how-to” deceive pretentious women, and with a tight looping rhythm that could easily double as a RZA backing track.


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