Storsveit Nix Noltes Orkideur Hawai

[Bubblecore; 2006]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: Eastern European folk music, big band, folk
Others: Mice Parade, Múm, Philip Koutev and the Ensemble of the Bulgarian Republic

Featuring founding members of Müm and part-time members of Mice Parade, Iceland-based Storsveit Nix Noltes plays traditional Eastern European folk music infused with a punk vivacity equally matched by the band's technical proficiency. The name translates to "big band" nix nolte (finally, Nick Nolte getting some props), and the group met in a Bulgarian folk music class at Reykjavik music school under the tutelage of Hilmar Jenson. Their debut album Orkideur Hawai ("Hawaii Orchards") collects 11 lively and masterfully orchestrated songs sure to get some soukmans a flutter and some belodreshnas real sweaty.

The album was recorded in a barn, thus it sounds very open, spacious, and organic, much like a live recording. I've yet to see them live, but, from what I hear, they burn it up on stage. The album amply shows off the group's energy, but also demonstrates the softer sides of "Nix Noltes." The ballad "Griska Lagid" evokes the moonlit Danube, and if songs like "Odessa Bulgarish" don't get you moving, then you must have your legs caught in a wolf trap. The band just finished up a tour with Animal Collective, and they are currently nominated for "Best album" in the Icelandic music awards. Rightfully so, as this album is certainly one of the most exciting, curious, and entertaining releases this year.

1. Kreptatka
2. Svatbarska rachemitsa
3. Griska lagid (From Risetiko)
4. Daichovo
5. Laz
6. Gankini Hore
7. Buchimis II
8. Buchimis I
9. Isinova Oro
10. Blagoevgrad region oro
11. Odessa Bulgarish