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Nordic Roots 2
Various Artists
Northside Music (CD)

Review by Alfta Svanni Lothursdottir

At Northsides web site ( you can find the CD Nordic Roots 2. On the inside cover you'll find the following:

      “From the Land of the Midnight Sun comes a wave of new music rooted in traditional culture but infused with contemporary perspective. Across the Nordic lands a new generation of musicians is discovering their own folk traditions and breathing new life and energy into tunes, dances and instruments handed down for centuries."
      Northside presents the best of this musical movement to North American audiences. From Swedish nyckelharpa to Sámi yoik, Finnish kantele to Norwegian Hardanger fiddle, young musicians are taking ancient traditions and fusing folk music with contemporary influences of rock, techno, jazz and new age. The results are spellbinding and tremendously diverse, making this the single hottest region for interesting and exciting world music developments.”
      So is described what is called the Nordic Roots music movement. At their site you will find quite a few musicians to choose from that range in musical style from folk to hard rock. But each you will find more or less is influenced by Nordic musical styles. In “Nordic Roots 2” a sampler CD with various artists from the label, you will find tracks from 22 different artists whose styles range from pure Scandinavian Folk to hard rock. Northside advertises this CD as “Still Cheaper than food,” and at $3 for a 22 track CD they are telling the truth.
        The tracks on this CD should please most tastes in music. Track 9, the song Vengeance by Garmarna is a wonderful droning and at times atonal piece. The song starts out with a “heartbeat-like” beat over which the beautiful vocals of lead singer Emma Härdelin flow. Then the violins explode with an atonal droning, followed by wonderfully melancholy flutes. Track 10 by the Danish group Sorten Muld is a more contemporary piece that grows on you with each listening. Sorten Muld's group centers around the vocals of Ulla Bendixen's whose vocals are at times, “soaring and whispering.” Track 11, which for me ties with Vengeance for the best songs on the CD, is titled “Loki” and is by Annbjørg Lein from her Baba Yagga album. A masterful hardanger fiddle player, her song is a joy to listen to and is an apt tribute to the “Friend of the Aesir”. The shamanistic sounding vocals of Wimme a Finnish Sámi yoik singer is very reminiscent of Native American chanting and singing. After listening to Ånon Egeland's “The Thrasher's Waltz” it is easy to see where one of my homeland's cultural treasures, Bluegrass, Folk and Old Style Country Music has its roots in. Groupa's “Lavalek” is a wonderfully innovative piece with flutes, fiddles and accordian with an energetic percussive arrangement that will have you tapping your feet. Then there is Hoven Droven (translated as “Helter Skelter” or “whatever”) with their combination of hard rock guitars and fiddles.
        If this CD were priced at what most double length CD's are priced at ($15-$20) I would still recommend it. But at $3 the question is, “Why don't you have it already?”

Track List

1. Boot                        Wild Honey
2. Hedningarna                Forest Maiden
3. Swåp                        Schankheden/Terry Crehan's
4. JPP                                Antin Mikko
5. Rosenberg 7                My Wedding Day
6. Troka                        Summer Night Twist
7. Ale Möller                        Heaven and Earth
8. Väsen                         Ploska                
9. Garmarna                        Vengeance
10. Sorten Muld                2 Sisters
11. Annbjørg Lien                Loki
12. Sanna Kurki-Suonio        Polska Release
13. Wimme                        Enchantment
14. Loituma                        Secret Tears
15. Värttinä                        The Village Awaits The New Moon
16. Bäsk                        Polonaise from Sexdraga
17. Frifot                        Stars/The Glutton
18. Ånon Egeland                The Thrasher's Watz
19. Sari & Mari Kaasinen        'Tis Time To Celebrate
20. Bukkene Bruse                Wedding March from Østerdalen
21. Groupa                        Lavalek
22. Hoven Droven                Brekken

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