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World Music CD Reviews North American

OMNIUM

By MARTY LIPP
Published April 7, 2006

OMNIBUS
Omnium

For those who think world music is some wimpy “Kumbaya” phenomenon, here’s a record (and record label) to change your mind. This Minneapolis outfit began with the cult band Boiled in Lead, which, as their name implies, is heavy metal, but play music informed by European tradition. This collection assembles songs from several performers from the label’s roster. The groups don’t sound alike, but do share a similar mission: to bring rock’s bristling energy to roots music from places outside the United States. The album includes the Ukrainians, who bring punk fury to their country’s music; Fiamma Fumana, creating dancefloor electronica out of Italian folk; Garmarna, who are at the forefront of the electric wing of the Swedish neo-traditionalist movement; and 3 Mustaphas 3, the Monty Python of world music. Most label samplers are mixed bags at best, but Omnium’s singular vision makes this budget-priced collection a perfect introduction to some kick-ass bands.