1/ Gula Gula - (Boine,Sillitoe,Martinsen) 4.45 Chilluminati Mix 2/ Cuovgi Liekkas - (Boine) 5.29 Jah Wobble Remix II 3/ Gulan Du - (Boine) 6.33 Those Norwegians Mix 4/ Alddagasat Ipmilat - (Boine) 5.41 Biosphere's Hanging Valley Mix 5/ Ale Ale Don - (Boine) 6.30 Melodius Mood Mix by Mark De Clive-Lowe 6/ Maid Aiggot Muinna Eallin - (Boine,Ludvigsen) 6.47 Bill Laswell Mix 7/ Gulan Du - (Boine) 6.55 Nils Petter Molvaer & Jan Bang Remix 8/ Mun Da Han Lean Oaivamus - (Boine) 8.55 Phono Remix 9/ Vuolgge Mu Mielde Bassivarran - (Boine) 6.30 Roger Ludvigsen, Fred Ellingsen & Thomas Sonnenberg Remix 10/ Ahccai - (Boine) 6.57 Mix by Future Prophesies 2001 - Jazzland/Universal (Norway), 014 760-1 (Vinyl) 2001 - Jazzland/Universal (Norway), 014 760-2 (CD)
Mari Boine, also known by her full name of Mari Boine Peresen, grew up in the Norwegian part of Sápmi (Sámiland). As she struggled to find her cultural identity, she became a musician and singer of protest songs. Over the years her blend of jazz, rock, folk and native Sámi 'joik' chant, has stayed political while mellowing its initial ferocity. Now she plays and sings at festivals and events all over the world, including WOMAD: her best-known album, 'Gula Gula', was licensed to Real World (and incidentally has a fantastic cover picture of a snowy owl's eye).
Given her position as one of Norway's most important, influential and cherished musical figures, perhaps it's not surprising to find Norway's coolest record label, Jazzland, producing an album of remixes of her work. A slew of quality musical names turn in versions of Boine classics, including Jazzland's own Nils-Petter Molvćr, Bill Laswell, Those Norwegians (of course!), Biosphere, Chilluminati, Jah Wobble and several others.
At first this is an odd combination. Boine's voice is certainly 'folky': it has a little of the hesitant sound of Bjřrk's, but it's much stronger and clearer, while the elements which come from joik chants have a haunting, very Native American sound. Her voice seems to have been recorded in a clear and realistic way, which certainly contrasts with the richly-produced electronic backings that the remixes give it. The juxtaposition seems strange but after a little listening, magically, the Sámi percussion and instrumentation buried in the mixes help to fuse the tracks into a more coherent whole. And the results sound lovely.
All the ten tracks here are really fine chilled pieces, from the drum'n'bass-styled Phono remix of 'Mun Da Han Lean Oaivámus' to Bill Laswell's dubby, bass-heavy version of 'Maid Áiggot Muinna Eallin'. Over them all the very different sound of Boine's voice adds a fascinating presence which moves from intriguing to enchanting.
It's a fascinating conjunction of styles, and at the same time it's an interesting pathway from dance and downtempo to a rich seam of powerful native Scandinavian music.
Dr. Emily (courtesy of the The Big Chill website)
Remix albums are as popular as their quality and musical worth is unpredictable. However, at least in this case you have the Jazzland imprimatur that is as near to a Kite mark as you're going to get: That and the source material itself. Mari Boine's haunting vocals and musical textures are a ready playground for the more inventive mixmasters around. They're here in abundance, from Nils Fetter Molvaer to Jah Wobble, via Those Norwegians and Bill Laswell. And whilst everyone has their favourites the distinctive character of the raw material binds the project together into a surprisingly coherent whole. The results vary between the electronic textures and convoluted soundscapes of Chiluminati and the subterranean mobility and understated empty spaces of Biosphere's Hanging Valley. The names say it all. This is music to kick back too, to listen in the dark too, to let wash over and around you. Even at its most insistent it insinuates rather than muscles its way into your consciousness. But it's no less powerful for all that. A perfect introduction to the multi-textural fascination of Jazzland's musical outer reaches, it might even convince you that the Jazz / Trance / Dance fusion has a sophistication above and beyond its apparent similarity to teenage soundtracks. Don't confuse the two. This is a beast of a completely different colour - one that commands respect.
RG (courtesy of Hi-Fi+ website)
The singer Mari Boine is something of a Norwegian national treasure, and is held in perhaps even higher regard by the Saami minority to which she belongs, spread across Lapland from the far north of Norway, Sweden, Finland and into northwest Russia. On this joyously successful remix CD, a broad range of unintrusive yet imaginative recontextualizings of her shamanistic song have been commissioned. International guests like Bill Laswell and Jah Wobble and equally well-known countrymen including Biosphere and Nils Petter Molvaer vie for the listener's attention alongside lesser-known Norwegian entities.
Wobble's remix is terrific; NPM's too; and Biosphere's pianistic colourations better still. Bill Laswell's version begins with a soft skank, which becomes a more bone-rattling skank with a big fat-bottomed bass while retaining a cool melodiousness with some lovely flute. But efforts by relative unknowns like Those Norwegians (suggestive violin breaks) and Mark de Clive-Lowe (spicy bossa nova) are just as classy. A neat little drum'n'bass thing by Future Prophesies sticks up it head before the journey ends off with a lovely ambient flourish by Phono. Regardless of the sounds and styles chosen, each and every of the remixers have treated Boine's incantations with due care and respect. A strong contender for your "remix CD of the year".
Stephen Fruitman (courtesy of the Sonomu website)