The hype surrounding this record isn't at all unjustified - if anything, it demands wider exposure. The Sigur Ros comparisons are hard to fathom, for although both bands are excellent, the styles of music are very different. Adjagas specialise in haunting, stripped down acoustic melodies, interspersed with the occasional startling twang of banjo. The vocals on the record are unique, almost mantra-like - a form of Nordic chanting peculiar to the region, the songs forming parts of a coherent pastoral cycle. 'Siivu' is paricularly gorgeous, the male and female leads weaving gossamer threads around a skeletal musical backdrop of stark beauty. The lyrics are sung in the singers' native language, but fortunately they are translated in the sleevenotes for monolingual Brits like myself!
Its hard to find fault with an album that can conjure images of endless space and sun-drenched glaciers, as opposed to the musical offerings of the current crop of parochial Britpoppers, with their increasingly tiresome, oh-so-ironc tales of crap nightclubs and skirmishes with townies in taxi queues. With the lights dimmed and the right mood this album will take you on one helluva trip.
Fans of Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart and other quirky troubadours of the contemporary folk scene will find much to enjoy on this disc. A truly absorbing and magical journey.
There is a great deal of very high quality music that comes out of Scandinavia, much of it occupying the "never-never land" that lies outside of the mainstream blandness of pop idol, vacuous britpop and mind numbing repetitiveness of pretty much everything that comes out of America.
From that darkness into the light comes this stunningly beautiful album by Marielle Gaup and Lawra Somby - collectively Adjagas. Each "song" or Yoik, (a form of chant peculiar to the Sámi people of Northern Norway) captures to perfection the bleakness and beauty of the land of its origin and the atmosphere of this musical form. The music that envelops these otherworldly chants is delicate as a snowflake, the singing is spine tinglingly affecting. Worth the money for "Rievdadeapmi" alone, you'd have to go a long way to find anything to touch this album in terms of sheer honesty and innocent beauty, a lesson in minimalism and deftness, the soundtrack to a purer, more unpretentious world.
Sounds more Souix indian than Scandanavian, but that doesnt make it bad. Yes there is chanting but there is also beautiful and heartfelt singing. Some lovely melodies that if listened to in the right environment are moving and enlightening. No it not like Sigor Ros, in fact its not like anything else you are likely to have ever heard. What better reason to buy it immediately!
...do NOT be fooled by some of the hype behind this album. The cover label suggests that the music is similar to Sigur Ros amongst others, but the truth is that musically & vocally it's nothing like them. It's basically a folk album with some 'ethereal backing' in bits & lots of chanted lyrics. I've listened to it quite a bit now & can say I only really like three of the songs. I found the chanting aspect of the vocals pretty grating after a while which is a shame as when they actually sing their lyrics it's really pretty good. I'd recommend a listen-before-you-buy before taking the plunge here. Track 6 is the favourite.