$12 ($14 international, $5 download (256 kbps, ~104 megs))
Track Listing: anne sit heim, fjellmannjenta, fanteguten, guro heddelid, sterke-nils døyr, min pipe, som lindi bærer lauv, haugebonden
Trollebotn is both a mythical
and real place; in folklore it is a remote location on the edge of the
world where trolls and mountain giants are said to dwell, in reality it
is an area in Seljord, Telemark, Norway. The traditional folk songs that
feature throughout the “Trollebotn” album are drawn from the community
that inhabits the mountainous Seljordshei region. To add further authenticity
to the recording the band recorded the album on location on the southern
tip of Vesleøy, an island in the Seljord lake that overlooks Trollebotn
itself. Recorded with an array of musicians from the Norwegian underground
scene, “Trollebotn” combines elements of ambient, post-rock, electro-acoustics
and folk to form a warm organic mix of upbeat music and, perhaps surprisingly,
quite captivating traditional lyrics. “Fanteguten” and “Som Lindi Baerer
Lauv” for example use steady insistent bass alongside electronic ambience
while album opener “Anne Sit Heime” focuses more on conventional acoustic
instrumentation. “Guro Heddelid” is very much more minimal, combining field
recordings of water, wind and droning organ with Rune Faten’s smooth vocal
to create an image of improvised music making with whatever happens to
be at hand with impressive results.
~ Paul Lloyd, Sideline
Norwegian Origami Arktika
create a pleasant aural experience, combining almost meditative traditional
styled folk music and atmosphere similar to that of Tenhi, Jose Gonzales
or Sigur Ros.
The eight tracks on Trollebotn flow by like an ancient river and are quite beautiful, with a multitude of instruments to be heard such as melodika, lur, mouth harp, flutes and also some "found" objects like stone, ice and wood, which genuinly add to the overall feel of ancestry and traditions, and of an older, much less materialistic world.
Another positive point to add is the CD booklet provides Norweigan lyrics, translations for each song in English and short stories on each track.
This Norse band is impressive. You can file and cherish Trollebotn alongside Hagalaz Runedance, and Carved in Stone.
Founded nearly two decades
ago, Origami Arktika is a Norwegian ensemble whose main point of existence
is to spread the news of traditional music from their homeland. On their
seventh release, "Trollebotn", they present music that is native to the
Trollebotn area of Norway. Filled with tales of love, liquor, women, smoking,
death and farmers, the songs are sombre and fill my head with visions of
yesterdays that were bleak. But this bleakness doesn't mean there is no
joy in the music the band presents. Rune Flaten's vocal prowess is often
times understated. He tends to take each phrase by the guts. Listen to
the way he lifts each single line of the song on "Guro Heddelid". As soon
as you're ready to admit the song has finished, he comes back with another
well executed concoction. The band's instrumentation is sparse and the
songs are filled with an overwhelming sense of longing and drama. Consider
"Trollebotn" a trip in time, to a land where the people lived off the land
and day-to-day issues seemed much simpler than today.
~ Tom Sekowski, Gaz-Eta
The album literally inhabits
the space where the “real” world and the magical world meet. The album
title Trollebotn is named after a wild untamed area of Norway where trolls
& mountain giants live. This album was recorded by a who’s who in the
Norwegian underground drone rock community including Tore Bøe (Origami
Republika founder), Kai Mikalsen (Kobi), Kjell Runar Jenssen (Motorpsycho,
Del), Kjell Øyvind Braaten (Varde, Ehwaz), Kjell-Olav Jørgensen
(Salvatore), & Bjarne Larsen (Salvatore). Out of all the participants,
I am only familiar with Kobi. If the rest of the collaborators are anything
like Kobi, and from what I hear on this disc they are, then I would assume
that the sounds that they make on their own would be intriguing too. This
disc was recorded on an island in a lake that looks down on the actual
physical and magical, Trollebotn. Through musical alchemy, the magic and
wonder of the place has been transformed into stunning, drone-ing, floating
I listened to this record for many weeks before even bothering to open the CD case. I was so entranced by the sound I felt little need to find out what it was about. I don’t speak Norwegian so all I did was listen to Rune Flaten’s melodious, woodsy voice. When I finally opened up the CD case I was pleasantly surprised that each song had a brief explanation of what each song was about. Despite sounding like Can or Faust on Quaaludes (this is meant as a compliment) most, if not all these songs are very old.
The first song “Anne sit Heime” features Rune's amazing vocals, a sad whistle or flute, a slowly unfolding strummed guitar, and minimalist percussion. It tells the tale of a mother singing to her son, about his father’s journey to go fight the Mountain Giants. The mother finally breaks down telling the son that his father can not return unless the son helps him back. The intensity of the song slowly builds as the drumming gets tighter and quicker. By the end, it is almost sounding like Slint or at least the dense part of the For Carnation.
Fjellmannjenta apparently is a bit of a dirty ditty. Like all great dirty folk songs, it sounds like the song is about nothing but sweet, innocent farmer's daughters. Well the song is about a farmer’s daughter, but she is making a pass at her chosen one, according to the liner notes, “with her skirt around her neck.” While I enjoyed the song on a pure sonic level, finding out the meaning of the words to the song is like reading the explicit verses in the Song of Solomon in church. It is deliciously wicked.
Fra Guro Heddelid needs no translation for one to know it is a sad, sad song. What sounds like a bagpipe drone, or an accordion, moans slow and low. There are bells, cymbals fills, and other unspecified clatter. All the while, Rune sings the lament of a woman who married for money not love. Her children surround her as she describes her self as a dying, once beautiful, tree beside a beautiful river.
Som Lidi Baere Lauv is full of impending doom. The drum beats have a thicker, more ominous feel which counters with a high pitch but low drone. Simultaneously, the vocals seem fall from the sky to the earth, like tears rolling down a cheek or a droplet of water falling from a waterfall. The song ends actually with the sound of water.
Throughout this whole disc, the magic of the place where it was recorded can be felt and heard. A very special recording, it is both ancient and modern. This record is a bridge between the “Real” world and the magic one. In this place and on this record they co-exist beautifully.
~ Dan Cohoon, Amplitude Equals One Over Frequency Squared
Origami Arktika are a Norwegian
seven-piece supergroup specialising in a distinctive brand of leftfield
avant-folk. Providing an ethereal soundtrack brimming with avant-garde
dynamics for nu-Hippies and anti-scene revolutionaries since 1992, Origami
Arktika have steadily built themselves a niche within the burgeoning Norwegian
underground. This has contributed to a devout fan base across Europe and
America. Origami Arktika’s lineup consists of vocalist Rune Flaten, Tore
Bøe (Origami Republika), Kai Mikalsen (Kobi), Kjell Runar Jenssen
(Motorpsycho, Del), Kjell Øyvind Braaten (Varde, Ehwaz), Kjell-Olav
Jørgensen (Salvatore), and Bjarne Larsen (Salvatore). ‘Trollebotn’,
a 8 track album weighing in at 49 minutes, was recorded in Vesleøy,
an island in the Seljord lake. The site overlooks a geographical Tollebotn
and in the immediate vicinity there are several Bronze Age graves and a
lake in which there is reputedly a sea-monster, the Seljordsorm. ‘Trollebotn’
was recorded as much as possible in an open air situation, to include the
sounds of the lake and wilderness.
The sound of Origami Arktika is one of otherworldly splendor. It is not restricted by time, style or fashion but instead is carved out of natural and timeless elements. It is psychedelic pagan ritual folk for shaman revolutionaries who live free of capitalist trappings. It is Circle at their most tender fused within the aesthetic of Neurot Record’s best post-rock bands. It is a warm, fuzzy and life-affirming sonic brew which disengages you from the fast-paced, market driven world outside your window. It is what a good soundsystem, a spliff and a spare 50 minutes where created for.
The first thing that will hit you when listening to this release is Rune Flaten’s unique vocal styles. Sitting somewhere between a stoned Irish leprecon and a youthful Norweigan Wizard, Flaten’s vocals will divide listeners and may prove to be an off-point for some. Personally, I found myself rather bemused by the vocal styles at first but as the album progressed the vocals became more and more intertwined within the music and drew me in (apart from the second track which still makes me cringe). Opener, ‘Anne sit heime’ opens with a subtle, looping and electric melody which is shrouded in exotic mysticism. As Flaten’s soft vocals begin, the melody acts like a magnet, attracting a synergising range of twings and twangs from other instruments. As the track progresses, more emphasis is placed on the melody and percussion, and tones are accentuated to create a increasingly pressing and darker sounding soundscape which develops into a subtle sonic-maelstrom of instrumental post-rock dynamism. Really jarring and captivating stuff.
‘Fanteguten’ is a ghostly track which lilts along a linear soundscape of percussive micro-motiffs. Utilising a tinkling backdrop of what sounds like milk bottles, steel triangles and chunks of wood, the group manage to effectively distill the sound of the forest into an eerie and captivating musical environment. Flaten displays an enchanting vocal prowess on ‘Guro heddelid’ which sits on a subtle yet stirring avant-garde backdrop of dark atmospherics, eruptive bass and clattering instruments. ‘Sterke-nils døyr’ is an extension of the previous track and sees the rich avant-garde tapestry morph slowly into a more folk-rock orientated aesthetic. Images of a post-war, space-age spaghetti Western wasteland appear in the distance and start to drift closer as the percussion intensifies and the guitar strings are plucked with more vigor. ‘Som lindi bærer lauv’ is an undisputed standout track with the band undertaking a remarkable showing of subtle restraint which when combined with deftly crafted atmospherics and soft drawn out vocals, results in 5 minutes of emotive majesty. The thick three-dimensional percussion and rounded, meandering bass sucks the listener into a warm yet watery netherland whose effect is compounded with subtle shafts of melodic light and drifting, heartfelt vocals straight from natures bosom. The closer, ‘Haugebonden’ is a work of shimmering beauty, existing in a dark timewarp spun with gold. Flaten’s deep vocals are haunting and the vocal tones are drawn out over the twinkling, propulsive melodies, to mesmerising effect.
With ‘Trollebotn’, Origami Arktika continue successfully on their mission to carve a beautiful and emotive soundscape brimming with captivating dynamics, exotic experimentalism and enchanting melodies. The recording strategy has contributed to a wide and warm soundstage which has successfully allowed the beauty of the natural surroundings to seep in to the recording. ‘Trollebotn’ demands the listeners attention and sucks them into a state of paralysis, where they and the music exist in a state of oneness, disengaged from any outside influences.
~ Kamyar Sadegzadeh, Experimusic
From Norway, Origami Arktika
play traditional Norwegian folk music mixed with a variety of experimental/avant-garde
and psychedelic influences. Trollebotn, the band's seventh album and their
second for Silber Records, was recorded on an island in the Seljord lake,
mostly in the open air to include the sounds of the lake and wilderness.
"Anne Sit Heime" opens the CD and sets the tone for the album with acoustic
instruments, percussion, wind instruments and Norwegian language vocals.
The band play a repetitive, slowly developing theme that gradually builds
in volume, and even starts to rock out a bit. There are folk-psych elements
and touches of soul, which brings to mind a sort of avant-folk take on
Traffic's "Low Spark of the High Heeled Boys" (I"ll bet the band have never
heard that analogy). "Fanteguten" has a playful feel, like children's instruments,
but also a variety of drums and percussion that are the instrumental driver
of the music, as well as the vocals that make the actual song. This would
have held up well as an instrumental sound and rhythm piece, but the addition
of the vocals make for a curious but very interesting combination. These
guys have a real flair for playing avant-grade music that also happens
to be melodic, trippy, and oddly accessible. Another good example of this
is "Guro Heddelid", which gets even deeper into the playful experimental
rhythms and percussion interplay. Another highlight track is "Som Lindi
Baerer Lauv", a dark avant spacey atmospheric piece, with a head throbbing
bass and eerie keyboard lines.
This was my hands down favorite of the latest batch of Silber CDs and one of the more interesting albums I've heard this year. It's really difficult to accurately describe what these guys sound like. I love psychedelic influenced folk music, but also have a taste for free-improvisational experimental music, and Origami Arktika have a unique and creative way of bringing these worlds together.
~ Jerry Kranitz, Aural Innovations
With a line-up compiled by
members from Motorpsycho, Salvatore and many others the Norwegian Origami
Arktika has a lot of musical influences which defines the typical sound
they make. Its concoction is a mixture of ambient noise, post rock, drone,
electro-acoustics mixed with traditional Norwegian folk. With the unique
sound they make the have managed to spell the listener and release their
seventh album called Trollebotn. This album has been recorded as much as
possible in the open air to truly capture nature’s mystique. Trollebotn
therefore can be seen as a mythical and geographical landscape. It sources
from songs and legend. As Origami Arktika themselves describe that
Trollebotn is situated on the brim of the world, across wide water, where
the trolls and mountain giants live. The songs on this album are tales
of lust, deceit, dancing, drinking, murder and giants. Despite of these
themes the character of this album is quite dreamy and feels like melting
away in a scenery slowly observing nature’s course and its strange inhabitants
handle life in their wicked way. The album has become quite diverse; from
ambient soundscapes to passages which are more folky ...it’s all there
and sounds as a coherent whole. It is not an easy album to grasp, and its
true qualities will show after a few spins, but when you manage Origami
Arktika has a sight to show you which you will enjoy thoroughly. An interesting
album for fans of the genre.
The story about how this
album came to be is just as odd and interesting as the music itself. The
folks in Origami Arktika traveled to a small island that overlooks the
mythic city of Trollebotn in Norway. Once they got their equipment set
up, they recorded their versions of traditional folk songs from the area...often
incorporating the natural sounds of the wilderness around them into the
recordings. The result...is a strange and unusual collection of tunes that
stray far, far, far from the beaten path. Because of the odd, obtuse nature
of this music, our guess is that this CD will have a very limited appeal.
After all, how many friends do you know who can't wait to get their hands
on the latest copy of a CD that features forgotten folks songs from the
mythic city of Trollebotn? Probably not too many (!). One thing is for
sure...this album doesn't sound the least bit like anything else we have
heard this year. Thus, because originality is indeed one of the greatest
traits of interesting music, we most heartily recommend this to folks into
adventurous and unusual music. Extremely unorthodox.
From the extended family
tree of Origami, the one that is called Origami Arktika is in my eyes the
one that is musically the most accessible one. No laptops, no noise, no
harshness. Origami Arktika is a kind of big band including members from
Kobi, Del, Motorpsycho, Salvatore and founding member Tore Boe. They play
a wide variety of instruments, such as guitars, drums, organ, bass but
also strange objects. Trollebotn is a remote area in Norway, with their
own strong traditions. Somewhere in the booklet there is a picture of a
shed. Perhaps the recording studio? The music evolves around the voice
of Rune Flaten, who recites rather than sings the lyrics. They are of course
in Norwegian. Origami Arktika apparently improvises freely around those
lyrics. Slow and intimate music this is, and it's great, but but but -
it starts sounding the same after a while. That is the great weakness of
this album. I couldn't help thinking after the fifth song, alright, I get
your drift. Maybe it's best to play this in a few parts anyway... But some
of it at a time is truly beautiful.
~ Frans de Waard, Vital Weekly
Every once in awhile an extremely
interesting release comes along that despite being absolutely intriguing
to listen to, one realizes it won’t have universal appeal. Origami Arktika’s
latest album Trollebotn is one such release. Mixing in traditional Norwegian
folk songs with ambient and haunting instrumentals, this is an extremely
atmospheric and absorbing release if given the chance. But as it is entirely
in Norwegian, that appeal is not as universal as one would like.
Origami Arktika took quite a bit of time to record this album, as they had retrieved the songs from those who still remembered them (they were beginning to fade away into legend and folklore). Not only that, but Trollebotn was recorded outside on a remote island near where the original legends came from. The result of this is an extremely unique and natural sounding album that mixes instrumentals in with the sounds of nature that were surrounding the band. Each and every song is extremely ambient, and often minimalist in nature. It may be hard to get into for some, but this album is almost tribal in its unique use of instrumental compositions.
What is going to severely limit this release for some listeners is the fact that all of the vocals are in Norwegian. Because of this many people are going to be unable to understand the lyrics, and as I cannot speak Norwegian either I will not be analyzing them. However, vocalist Rune Flaten does a great job singing on this album. Flaten’s voice has an almost otherworldly sound to it as he sings each folk song in his native language.
Trollebotn isn’t going to appeal to the mainstream because of how different it is. But those with an open mind who don’t bash something just because it’s unique will find an extremely compelling album that is almost a key to Norway’s past. Most may not be able to understand the lyrics, but that doesn’t keep Origami Arktika’s latest masterpiece from being a mysterious and entrancing release.
~ Chris Dahlberg, Cosmos Gaming
The music of the album is
related with Trollebotn, a small area in Telemark in Norway with a wide
open landscape and with a lake and mountains, a wild place associated with
trolls and mountain giants. It used to be a backwards area with remains
of extremely old customs and habits. In a time of further globalisation
with fast consumingcultivation and regulation of land and all that is on
it, this not only means that so much diversity in nature dies out ; the
same happens in the diversity of mankind and all its privately kept and
communal secrets, but also all the local variations of more recognisable
memories and life stories. I just read that every two weeks another language
dies out, and together with it all its customs, myths but also specific
wisdoms related with certain areas, and learned in and for specific circumstances.
But sometimes just variations of what is generally known dies out as well.
Origami Arktika decided to sit down and try to preserve and relive all
of what is left in especially Rune Flaten’s memory, because he had some
of his musical roots in this area. Some traditional folk songs from Trollebotn
and surrounding areas were suggested, and the group worked on them and
let them mould very organically into something they felt most comfortable
with. To succeed well in this, and with respect for preservation, and also
in order to get the right feelings, just in case, not to be distracted
from the true sense in them, they went for the recording session to this
secluded island and shut themselves of from the rest of the world for a
week, playing day and night. Eating, drinking and diving for the sea-serpent
(the local legend) while not making music. Only a few extra musical additions
were added later near Oslo.
A first thing that is great about the concept is that there is included great background info with each song, and for the Nordic people, lyrics, something which adds depth to the songs. The music is much improvised.
The first track, “Anne Sit Heime”, a lullaby, is softly accompanied by a repetitive pattern by the band, a result which works with a humming to sleep trance effect (even when the band uses drums and electric guitars). But also the next few tracks sound similar as if an old lady sings them to her children, while the band accompanies them with drums, bass, thumbpiano, percussion, rhythmically and with the same kind of humming drone effect. At other times the band plays more organically and technically free, and then it is as if the natural elements of the area reveal itself, with similar sounds like a wooden boat on water, iron or tin clancking to wood and so on, but also with use of water sounds or a soft rhythmically thunder-like bass drumming. The songs and also the stories behind them have very much the desolateness of the area in them, where you cannot escape from circumstances even when new things happen. In that way the band captured this well and express all the sad ballads moodily with a new contemporary sound.
~ Acid Folk Review
The seventh album in 15 years
from this cult Norwegian septet (whose members are identified by the letter
“A,” presumably for Arktika to distinguish them from other projects in
the overall cultural collective known as Origami Republika, followed by
a number) is a collection of ancient folk tales from the mythical titular
land, which is also an area in Seljord, Telemark. To absorb and, thus imbue
the ambience of the area into the material, the band recorded the album
on Vesleøy, an island in the middle of the Seljord lake. As with
most OA releases, there’s a loose, improvisational feel to the recording
sessions, which were recorded outside as much as possible to capture the
natural sounds of the area. Opener ‘Anne sit heime og tullar fe Baane’
relates the tale of Strong-Nils by Jørund Telnes. Nils’ mother Anne
sings the song to her son, telling him of his father’s adventures fighting
over in Denmark for the king. The band back this story with an ominous,
stalking backing, reminiscent of The Doors and one of Morrison’s lengthy
tales, such as “The End.”
“Fjellmannjenta” is the ribald tale of the farmer’s daughter going out for a few rounds on a Saturday night, dancing and flirting with the boy she fancies. The music here is tender, flowing…representing the playful innocence of the young maiden. “Frå Guro Heddelid” is another tale based on a Telnes cycle about a 14th century woman who lived in Seljord right before the plague broke out. The ethereal, improvisational backing reflects her state of mind as she sits and watches her children play, ruing the decision she made long ago to marry a rich man she didn’t love. Now, sadly, many years later, her husband and her true love are both gone and she sits alone beside the river near her home, contemplating how life could have been so much different. The final verse ends with the heartbreaking, symbolic couplet, “The green Linden tree was beautiful to watch/Now she stands all dried up by the Vallar River.”
Although the tracks are all sung in Norwegian, the events in the tales are summarised in English, so you can follow the stories even if you cannot understand the individual lyrics. Overall, “Trollebotn” is another fine outing from this experimental project, whose challenging but always rewarding work is a prime example of the intriguing New Scandinavian Folk scene, and this will definitely be a welcome addition to the collections of fans of similar bands, like Kemialliset Ystävät and Avarus from Finland, Kobi (whose Kai Mikelsen doubles as a current member of OA), or other members of the Origami Republik. Together, the individual artists offer some of the finest avant folk music of the day, and this is a good place for newcomers to jump in and explore what the project has to offer.
~ Jeff Penczak, Foxy Digitalis
To get to Trollebotn in Norway,
the geographical location at least, is relatively easy for the prepared
outdoorsman, but for the mythical and legendary place of Trollebotn, the
land where Trolls and Giants reputedly lived, is a much more perilous journey.
So much so that the locals who lived around the area of Trollebotn (apparently
keeping ancient traditions longer than other parts of Norway) have kept
alive countless tails of myth and folklore. Not wanting this aged spoken
word and folk tradition to be lost in the deep seas of modernity, Origami
Republika, a global movement of artists, musicians, writers, film makers
(et al) set about recording their own versions of these archaic and colorful
tales (via their musical offshoot, Origami Arktika) with a sound as cosmopolitan
as their members. With styles ranging from folk to industrial, from post
rock to drone, Origami Arktika recorded Trollebotn in a remote island in
the heart of Norway and the results are heard explicitly throughout.
Take ‘Anne Sit Hieme’ for instance, the first track on the album and a measure of just how talented a group Origami Arktika really is; blending psychedelic post rock sentiments and traditional Norwegian folk roots with ease.
‘Fjellmannjenta’, while steeped lyrically in Nordic folklore, produces a very global feel in its sound no doubt due to the use of a plethora of world music instruments at work in unison. Origami Arktika show off with precision the cosmopolitan and liberated make up of their group and their musical structures.
What helps to make this recording unique is, as previously mentioned, the fact that Origami Arktika recorded it on a remote island, Vesleoy to be precise, and not just on the island but outside, in the wilderness, allowing the field recordings of wind and most prominently with the track ‘Guro Heddelid’ the water surrounding the island, reputedly inhabited by an ancient sea serpent, The Seljordsorm, to feature. A combination of both geographical poignancy and diagetic sound that when mixed with the haunting and subtle folk sound of the band and the vocals of Rune Flaten, make for an as-damn-near-perfect-as-one-could-hope-for neo-folk composition.
‘Min Piepe’ too makes prominent use of the recorded ambience surrounding the island, with the faint yet hallmark beat of a tribal drum becoming ever more important in our marginal hearing until it at last dominates the audible space, mixing smoothly and successfully with Flaten’s calm and traditional vocal talents capturing the dark ages feel of the music with every note elegantly produced.
For a deeply powerful and spiritual track look to ‘Som Lindi Baerer Lauv’, with its gentle brush of the cymbal and slow and repetitive ancestral drum beat, the composition acts almost as a musical gateway, a fey gate crossing from the material aspect of Trollebotn to the mythical one sung about in the folklore adaptations heard here.
Those able to translate the lyrics within this release or are native Norwegian speakers will surely be able to appreciate this compilation of old Norse tales in a way I can only enviously dream of, but despair not fellow linguistic philistines as the free folk sounds here alone are enough to help you on your peaceful journey to Trollebotn even if the captain’s tales are incomprehensible; truly a brilliant piece of musical, cultural and anthropological history and one of Origami Arktika’s most unique releases.
~ Michael Byrne, Left Hip
Will Norse folk Sweden your
life, or hit Norway near the (Den)mark?
Hello readers, Pious Pete here. When I'm not devoting my life to the Church or painstakingly completing the Lindisfarne Gospels, there's nothing I enjoy more than listening to hot new jams on my iGod. Alas, I've hit a bit of a sticky patch of late. The simple joys of fermenting beer, upholding my vows and instantaneously absorbing fresh music by the sheer power of Christ are enlightening, it's true—but none of the local bands are rocking my robes at the moment. Saint Cuthbert and the Yellow-browed Warblers sold out to the man when they played Durham Cathedral; and don't even get me started on those bloody goths in Pilgrim's Way. What we need is a new wave. Something from across the sea. Some kind of ... invasion?
Excuse me a second, there's a lot of shouting outside my door. Sounds like it could be expositional.
Sørry, the bell didn't wørk. Right, this is an øfficially sanctiøned Viking raid. Hand øver everything valuable, there's a gøød lad.
Oh no, I didn't mean this kind of invasion! What a calamitous and strangely coincidental sequence of events ... Wait, is that supposed to be a Nordic accent?
Shut up, it wørked fine før Asterix. Wøw, yøu've gøt an iGød. That'll be a terrific upgrade frøm my øld Søny Thørkman.
Jesus. What aural horrors must that gigantic contraption contain? Tales of salt-ravaged sea crossings? Powerful ballads, swathed in the blood of hapless enemies? Songs of wine and banqueting in the majestic halls of your heathen gods?
Mm, yes, all øf thøse things. Plus stirring legends øf lust, deceit and hønøur. Here, have a listen tø søme Origami Arktika before I beat yøu tø death.
*Listening* ... hmm, this isn't exactly ...
What? Cøme øn, øut with it.
It's just not the conflagration of thunder and rage I was expecting. In fact, it's rather tranquil—shadows lengthening as the sun dips below the horizon, that sort of thing. There's a sense of community gathering, of huddled families gazing at the fire as the mundane activities of evening provide sporadic backdrops. I can see a man keeping rhythm, but the rest ... the rest is more subtle; indistinct shape and timbre, clanking barely in ear-shot. Perhaps the innocent collisions of pots and pans, perhaps a stray hobgoblin shuffling around the camp. There are fleeting feelings of indistinct danger, yes, but also of safety in numbers. Protection in song. Incantations, rolling through the night in a trance-like chant. Reverberations in the forest. A soothing drone of repetition, meandering sedately through an hour of folklore.
Silence! It's spine-chilling, bile-curdling mythøløgy from a blighted Scandinavian isle øf ice and snøw.
It's really not. Actually, it's rather gentle. Perhaps Rune Flaten is evoking vengeful spirits and deadly sea creatures in his native Norwegian, but the intimate tone he's using suggests matters far more personal—even spiritual. Mysticism blossoms from the quiet intensity, but for all I know he could be focusing extremely hard on singing about delightful kittens and knotting daisy chains in beards. Maybe that's it. You're all secret hippies, aren't you? Great big flower-loving hippies. Why don't you just settle down as farmers and integrate with the locals while you go all potty about trees?
Arrgghh, støp messing with my mind, nøbødy talks like that in real life!
That's because this entire scenario was just a conceit, silly.
... and, as this series of small walls shows, the Vikings did indeed settle down as farmers. They weren't hippies though, that was just a little bit of Time Team exaggeration.
What's really fascinating is this other collection of miniature, wall-like structures which we've used to piece together more of Pious Pete's thoughts about Trollebotn. We believe these low-level constructions, along with the shallow foundations of what may have been more walls, show that this monk felt the record wove a believable spell. Marks found on the stonework suggest he also found the illusionary sweep of a moorland wilderness capably recreated, alongside feelings of tribal union in rudimentary prayer.
Over here we can see fragments of pottery, strongly indicating that he thought over-repetition and a lack of changes in pace were in danger of shattering the private world. But he was probably mindful that what, on the surface, appears to be near-absolute minimalism, can reveal greater depth through exploration—uncovering myriad beats and soft vibrations.
We've applied the latest computer imaging techniques and the combined knowledge of several archaeological experts to compile an image which should demonstrate how the Lindisfarne monks regarded this album. As you can see, it's the phrase "strange and inviting, but at times a victim of its own impenetrable introspection," spelled out by a set of walls which can only be described as ... err ... less-than-large and in some kind of uniform pattern.
Cease this nønsense. I, Mighty Odin, find this review tø be disturbingly self-indulgent—and I'm a guy whø spends møst øf his time chatting with hyper-intelligent ravens.
Fair enough. Goodbye everyone!
~ Peter Parrish, Stylus
Origami Arktika was founded
in 1992, and ‘Trollebotn’ is their seventh album. Trollebotn, according
to the release notes, is a place that is both mythical and geographic,
existing in song and legend as well as in Norway. This album is filled
with old folk songs and the like from the area, and was recorded in Trollebotn,
on the southern most tip of an island.
Folk music has always been a part of my life growing up, and I love European and Scandinavian folk songs especially. However, Origami Arktika just didn’t really do it for me on this album. The music is decent, but nothing amazing or unique about it jumps out at me, and it is much too repetitious (though I understand that is part of the style they were trying to emulate). The vocals, while good, seem out of place, and nothing on this album has staying power. Though I give them a huge amount of credit for the kinds of research and lengths they went to to capture the feel of the actual Trollebotn, this album seems too much like a hodge-podge of songs, and really left me wanting a lot more than it gave. An interesting album nonetheless, but not one that stands out in my opinion.
~ Lunar Hypnosis
ANMELDELSE: En plate som
både er tuftet på dype, lokale tradisjoner og hevet over både
tid og sted. Origami Arktika har dratt til Telemark for å bli bedre
kjent med gamle sagn og fortellinger, og spilt inn plate midt ute på
Seljordsvannet. - ”Trollebotn” er minimalistisk, intim og trolldomsbindende
hypnotisk mener en fornøyd Ballades anmelder med granbar i håret
og kongler i lomma.
Trollebotn er et både mytisk og reelt landskap. Mytiske Trollebotn ligger på kanten av verden, over de store vannene der tussene og fjelltrollene regjerer. Geografisk ligger Trollebotn idyllisk til ved Seljordshei i Telemark. Her i hjertet av Norge, midt i landet og lukket for innflytelse utenfra, har det vært godt grunnlag for alskens legender og myter. Dette er et område med gode vekstvilkår for underjordiske vesener og overjordisk tro, det er hit Origami Arktika tar oss med på sin helt ferske plateutgivelse.
Origami Arktika er en del av det verdensomspennende kulturnettverket Origami. Arktika startet i 1992 med grunnlegger Tore Honore Bøe og Kai Mikalsen (Kobi) som sentrale medlemmer. ”Sondring” (1996) og ”Vardøgr” (2002) er to meget anbefalelsesverdige plater fra denne kanten, begge med røtter dypt nede i norsk folkemusikk, minimalisme, musique concrete og naturmystikk. Dette er alle elementer som føres videre på deres syvende plate.
”Trollebotn” er i første rekke verket til vokalist Rune Flaten, selv med røtter i Seljord. Han tok med seg en blandet krets fra storbyen, blant andre Bjarne Larsen (Salvatore), Kjell Rune Jensen (DEL) og nevnte Mikalsen, til Vesleøy ute i Seljordsvannet. Her blant tusser og sjørormer ble gamle sagn funnet frem igjen og tonesatt i omgivelser som helt tydelig har påvirket det musikalske resultatet.
Låtmaterialet er i stor grad bygget på gamle historier og sagn, ikke minst basert på dikteren Jørund Telnes (1845-92) fra Seljord. Telnes står blant annet bak syklusen om kjempekaren Sterke-Nils (han som løftet steinen som i dag står ved kirken i bygda). ”Sterkenils døyr” følger hans tre siste dager:
”Um ein er sterk aa stor, han endaa er som høy: Tidt fe ein liten Bjor ein kjempekar laut døy.”
Flaten synger også om ”Guro Heddelid”, en av de rikeste og fagreste kvinnene i Telemark - og akk så ulykkelig gift - og vuggesangen ”Anna sit heime og tullar fe Baane”, begge signert Jørund Telnes. De øvrige sporene er alle tradisjonelle og lokale folkeviser, stev, skjemte- eller drikkeviser. ”Trollebotn” er med andre solid forankret i Telemark; geografisk, historisk og poetisk. Teksten er alle skrevet og fremført på dialekt, i en noe arkaisk form, men i det informative innleggsheftet gis det korte, informative oppsummeringer om innhold og bakgrunn. Det styrker inntrykket av dette er et solid og helhetlig gjennomført prosjekt.
Men Origami Arktika har langt fra laget en tradisjonell folkemusikkplate. Trollebottens mytologiske plassering i ”ytterkanten” av verden kan med letthet overføres til musikken. Det er her platen løftes fra å være en lokalhistorisk kuriositet til å selv bevege seg inn i mytenes rike. Det er mystikken og overtroen i legendene og de gamle sagnene som snirkler seg fra bøkene og inn i instrumentene. Origami beveger seg ikke langs allerede utformede spor, men lager sine nye. De forsøker ikke å rocke opp folkemusikken, eller folke opp rocken, men heller å skape stemninger som kler innholdet uavhengig av genre.
Stilen er minimalistisk, intim og trolldomsbindende hypnotisk. Kompassnåla går i spinn, og jeg tenker både i retning av Tinariwens ørkenblues, Pink Floyds mest dempede øyeblikk på Pompeii og amerikansk post-rock av typen For Carnation. Det bør være unødvendig å legge til at den geografiske bindingen til Telemark dermed for lengst er oppløst, fjellheimen og det bunnløse vannet betraktes både ovenfra og innenfra. Jeg synes balansen mellom tekst og tone er bedre ivaretatt her enn nylige prosjekter som eksempelvis ”Grimen”.
Det eneste jeg ønsker å sette fingeren på er faktisk Rune Flatens litt for dominerende tilstedeværelse. Han slipper ikke helt taket i musikerne, som fint kunne fått større instrumentalt spillerom. Vi bringes hele tiden tilbake til historiefortelleren, da vi av og til heller burde fått lov til å forsvinne inn i tåkeheimen for å møte Fanteguten, Haugebonden og de andre skikkelsene som går igjen der inne. Men det sparer de vel til konsertene sine, tenker jeg.
”Trollebotn” griper stillferdig tak og fører deg med inn i skogen. Den hvisker lydløst i mørket, det bunnløse vannet ligger urørlig og venter, månen kaster et dunkelt skjær over landet og bare tussenes tasling kan høres rundt hytteveggen.
~ Bjørn Hammershaug, Mic
Norska Origami Arktika bildades
redan 1992 och har under tiden blandat och gett såväl när
det gäller medverkande musiker som kvalitet. ”Trollebotn” är
tveklöst deras till dags dato mest imponerande verk vilket kanske
är föga överraskande med tanke på vilka som medverkar.
Grundaren Rune Flaten omger sig numera med underjordsikoner såsom
Tore Bøe (Origami Republika), Kai Mikalsen (Kobi), Kjell Runar Jenssen
(Motorpsycho och Del), Kjell Øyvind Braaten (Varde, Ehwaz), Kjell-Olav
Jørgensen (Salvatore) och Bjarne Larsen (Salvatore).
Med kunskap baserad i hur ovan nämnda band låter är det lätt att förstå att vi här bjuds till en musikalisk resa genom mångfacetterad, och tidvis oländig terräng. Origami Arktika väljer att placera sin försiktigt smygande norska folkmusik på ett lapptäcke av elektroakustisk improvisation, spöklika ambienta toner, majestätiska dimbankar av droner och överraskande postrockstrukturer.
Det är en imponerande helhet som tack vare Flatens mystiska röst och det tidlösa musikaliska anslaget innehar en kraftfullt absorberande förmåga. Legenderna och historierna kring livet i svårtillgängliga Trollebotn är många och jag anar att bandets avsikt är att försöka förmedla den känslan innan atmosfären försvinner. Man gör det genom att omtolka traditionella visor och att musiksätta sägner och resultatet är lika delar meditativt och deprimerande.
~ Mats Gustafson, Sound of Music
Stát Origama Republika
na map? sv?ta nenajdeme. P?esto ovliv?uje svou existencí stovky
muzikant?. Kreativní hnutí se objevilo v Norsku p?ed necelými
osmnácti roky a dnes sdružuje okolo 260 um?lc?, z nichž mnoho vytvá?í
Origami hudební t?lesa. Jedním z nejvýznamn?jších
je bezesporu Origami Arktika, jejíž nové album Trollebotn
znovu vrací skupinu po p?ti letech na vydavatelství Silber.
Arktika sdružuje ve svých ?adách takové osobnosti
jako samotného zakladatele hnutí Tore Honoré Bøe,
Kaie Mikalsena (Kobi), Kjella Runara Jenssena (ex-Motorpsycho, DEL) nebo
Bjarne Larsena (Salvatore). Spole?n? pak v ?ele se zp?vákem Rune
Flatenem s láskou kombinují ve tvé tvorb? psychedelii,
folk, ambient, elektroakustické výst?elky spolu s tradi?ní
norskou hudbou. Pro tentokrát si posvítili na zapadlý
kout hrabství Telemark, jež je doslova protkáno bájemi
a legendami. Mnoho tradi?ních písní z této
oblasti se zaobírá pov?stí o mýtickém
území Trollebotn, kde žijí trolové a další
skalní ob?i. S brašnou plnou starých písní
vyrazila kapela nahrávat novou desku na ostrov Vesleøy, jež
leží uprost?ed jezera Seljord.
Tradi?ní písn?/báje o?esali o p?ebyte?né melodické motivy a naopak vše pod?ídili pomalu se odvíjejícím p?íb?h?m. Post-folkový minimalismus je dopl?ován drobnými sonickými p?ihrávkami a ani tam kde se objeví mezihry nevytryskne z muzikant? nahromad?ná energie. P?i poslechu m? naskakovala podobnost k dlouhým p?íb?h?m The Doors (legendárním vály When the Music's Over, The End), které ale Norové nechávají, na rozdíl od rockov? živo?išného Jima Morrisona a spol., pomalu plynout uprost?ed p?írody. Hippies nemusí žít za každou cenu ve m?st?, ani ve slunné Kalifornii. Origami Arktika nám to (spolu s celým houfem kapel Fonal records) již dlouho úsp?šn? dokazuje.
~ Pavel Zelinka, Freemusic.cz
Wenn man das siebte Album
von Origami Arktika anhört, könnte der Titel nicht besser gewählt
sein: »TROLLEBOTN« ist ein mythischer Ort – und genauso klingen
die acht Stücke. Der Opener »Anne Sit Heime« dauert stolze
9 Minuten und 35 Sekunden. Die ersten Minuten sind schon vorbei und es
passiert immer noch »nichts«, leise plätschern Töne,
alle paar Takte ergänzt durch norwegischen, fast mystischen Gesang.
Eine fast mönchsartige Weise stimmt den Nachfolger »Fjellmannjenta«
an, häufig halten sich die Instrumentalisten sehr zurück, wie
in »Guro Heddelid«, das zunächst nur aus Rune Flatens
Stimme und leisem Wasserplätschern besteht, später gesellt sich
minimalistische Perkussion dazu.
Sehr dezent, sehr zurückhaltend, sehr spartanisch und sehr lang sind die Lieder (es gibt nur ein knapp dreiminütiges Stück, sonst bleibt keines unter fünf). Und spätestens beim sechsten Stück wird es so langsam eintönig, trotz der faszinierenden Aufnahmesituation des 49-Minüters: Größtenteils im Freien auf einer Insel namens Vesleøy im Seljord-See aufgenommen, versuchten die arktischen Papierfalter die Klänge des Wassers und der Natur einzufangen. Fazit: Wer der Scheibe viele Durchgänge gönnt, wird bei jedem mit der Entdeckung neuer Details belohnt, wer auf Spannungsbögen und »offensichtlichere« Abwechslung steht, für den eignet sich das Ambient-Folk-Werk nur bedingt.
~ Nathalie Martin, Nordische Musik