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World Music CD Reviews Europe

WIMME

By ROBERT KAYE
Published May 5, 2006

Bárru
Northside

Bárru is the fourth release by Wimme Saari, a modern joik (pronounced yoik) singer from Finnish Sámiland. The Sámis are indigenous to Northern Scandinavia, with surprising cultural links to Native Americans; hence, joik singing parallels their chants. Improvisation (as in many other indigenous folk music) is common. Bárru, following Wimme’s preceding releases, is a concoction of ancient chant techniques spun round circling layers of electronica. For the most part he is able to successfully combine tradition with digital wizardry. However, like other indigeno/electronica releases of late, some songs are constructed over simplistic arrangements, making for redundant listening once the novelty of joik has been assimilated. Still, there are compelling songs, including “fadnu” (with a cool, spliced-up didgerido rhythmic track), “goalki” (featuring atmospheric instrumentals, including Japanese koto and Wimme’s evocative falsetto joiks), and the techno beat-driven “cearret.”