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Mari Boine


Country of origin:

Norway

Type of music generally:

Beautiful and fierce world music based on the Sami tradition of Northern Scandinavia.

Status:

Most recent release, Áiggi Askkis—An Introduction To (Best Of) (2011); most recent release of new material, Sterna Paradisea (2009)

See also:

Mari Boine's site

Mari Boine's MySpace page

Wikipedia's entry on Mari Boine

Comparisons:

Though the overall sound has much in common with other native cultures (particularly in the use of vocals, drums and rhythmic patterns), this is highly individual music. (Neile)

Her voice sometimes reminds me of Mercedes Sosa's, but Mari Boine's is clearer. (Marion)

Covers/own material:

Own, and traditional, very occasional covers

General comments:

Mari Boine's sound is powerful and expressive. It's organic-sounding world music and yet not New Age-y at all, and seems musically both primal and sophisticated at the same time. I recommend her music to anyone who has an interest in either strong and interesting female vocals and/or world music. Every album of hers is wonderful musically—I just wish I understood some of the words. Mari Boine is Sami (a region of the Arctic Circle north of Scandinavia) and the way her heritage has affected her music seems fundamental to its overall sound—yet it's contemporary too. Power is an overused word in music, but damn her music is powerful: beautiful, deep, haunting, eerie, evocative. (Neile)

She is great—really great!! (onealien@mo.himolde.no)

Comments about live performance:

Mari Boine live was truly spectacular. I was quite impressed—enough to buy two of her CDs after the show. The most impressive thing about Mari's show was the extreme musicianship of each and every member of her band. The mix of instruments was also quite unique. I've always been fond of Native American music—but usually find it gets a little repetitious after a while. This didn't. She combines flutes, bass guitar, drums & percussion, guitar, and electric violin with her incredible vocals. Not since seeing Renaissance many years ago have I seen such an incredible band. (jjhanson@att.net)

Recommended first album:

Any—all have equally wonderful things to offer. The easiest to find in the U.S. are Gula Gula and Radiant Warmth. (Neile)

Recordings include:


Gula Gula

(as Mari Boine Persen)

Release info:

1990—Real World/Virgin—2-91631

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Mari Boine Persen—vocals, drum, guitar

Guest artists:

Eivind Aarset—guitar
Christer Bo Bothen—electric bass clarinet, dozo n'koni, ganga
Unni Shael Damslora—claypot, darboka, tambourine, seed rattles, cymbal
Tellef Kvifte—clarinet, piano
Roger Ludvigsen—guitar, breath, piano, fram drum, saz
Ale Moller—drone drum, hammered dulcimer, bosoki, overtone flute
Gjaermund Silseth—bells, bass, piano
Leiv Solberg—bass
Carlos Zamata Quipse—quena, breath, charango, antara

Produced by:

Tellef Kvifte

Comments:

What a wonderful discovery this album is—it's uncompromisingly strong and beautiful. This is a great (and accessible) introduction to Mari Boine's sound and work. Once you hear this, you'll be hooked. (Neile)

I love this album! (uli@zoodle.robin.de)

Beautiful emotional music, with traditional influences. The songs on this CD are mainly quiet, often percussion based. Her voice sometimes reminds me of Mercedes Sosa's, but Mari Boine's is clearer. Very strong. Now I've got to find her other CDs as well. :-) (Marion)


Goaskinviellja

Release info:

1993—lean—MBCD 62

Availability:

Scandinavia, though I saw a version with English titles briefly in Canada and the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Mari Boine

Guest artists:

Roger Ludvigsen
Carlos Z. Quispe
Gjermund Silset
Helge Andreas Norbakken
Hege Rimestad

Comments:

The title translates as "Eaglebrother" in English. This is stunning all around, and perhaps her best album so far: gorgeous and powerful. (Neile)

Leahkastin

Release info:

1994—Lean/Sonet (Polygram)—MBCD 94 523889-2

Availability:

Scandinavia, though I saw a version with English titles briefly in the U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Mari Boine

Guest artists:

Aale Karstad, Hehe Rimestad, Gjermun Silset, Roger Ludvigsen, Helge A. Norbakken, Carlos Z. Quispe

Comments:

This title translates as "unfolding". Another delightful recording—just as powerful as the earlier recordings. (Neile)

59:18 minutes of utter excellence. If you like Mari Boine's music, I can nothing but say "RUN AND GET THIS!". The album reminds me more of Goaskinviella (Eagle Brother) than of Gula Gula. Not only the song writing is excellent, also the technical side of the recording. While Goaskinviella lacked a little bit of the pure emotion of Gula Gula, this one almost comes close to it. Not quite, but then there's the musical and technical quality to admire. I still don't know which one I like better, Gula Gula or Leahkastin. What you most definitely need for Leahkastin is a very good stereo, else you'll miss a lot. This is music you can't really enjoy if you let it run in the background. No, rather take your time and *listen*. Maybe even on headphones, but at least concentrate on the album. You'll be rewarded. For all those bass-notes-of-doom collectors: listen to the third track ("Cuovgi Liekkas") at mediocre volume and ask your neighbors what happened after about two and a half minutes. You also shouldn't listen to track 6 ("Mielahisvuohta") at too high volume if you already do have trouble with your landlord. (uli@zoodle.robin.de)

It's an excellent album—I suspect I'll get to like this one even better than Goaskinviellja. While the sound is indeed similar, the main difference is, I think, that the new album is more dynamic—probably due to more extensive use of bass drums and guitars. (jbr@casetech.dk)

Highly recommended. (onealien@mo.himolde.no)


Radiant Warmth

Release info:

1996—Antilles (Polygram)—314 533 520-2

Availability:

Wide in U.S.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

A selection of songs from previous albums which does quite a wonderful job of capturing the range and spirit of the individual albums. Probably a good starting point for those unfamiliar with her work or who might want only one album of it, though don't be surprised if you get this and then feel the need to track down all the rest of her albums. (Neile)

eallin (live)

Release info:

1996—Lean/Sonet (Antilles)—533 799-2

Availability:

U.K. and Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Mari Boine—voice

Guest artists:

Gjermund Silset—bass
Hege Rimestad—violin
Helge A. Norbakken—bass drum, tin plate
Roger Ludvigsen—guitars
Carlos Z. Quispe—voice, toyos, zamponia

Comments:

The title translates as "life" in English. These are live versions of songs from her earlier albums, and gives a sense of how brilliant she must be live—this makes me wish she'd play somewhere where I could see her. The album has a wonderful energy and clarity of sound: one of those rare, stirring live recordings that sounds as though it approximates the actual live power of the performance. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in her contemporary/world/sami music. Very listenable and dynamic, even though I don't understand the lyrics. (Neile)

Bálvvoslatjna (Room Of Worship)

Release info:

1998—Lean/Sonet/Verve (Antilles/Polygram)—5590232

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Mari Boine—voice
Gjermund Silset—bass, hakkebrett, basskalimba, percussion, organ
Hege Rimestad—violin
Helge A. Norbakken—percussion
Roger Ludvigsen—guitars, percussion
Carlos Z. Quispe—voice, toyo, didjeridoo

Produced by:

Geir Østensjø and Mari Boine Band

Comments:

Deep pulsating rhythms, dense sounds and Mari's stunning voice create a mystic atmosphere. I would say that it's more like the 1994 release Leahkastin/Unfolding than like Gula Gula. The focus is now on the band (Mari Boine Band). The other members are involved in the songwriting and the instruments have more room. In contrast to Gula Gula there are almost no keyboards. For me Balvvoslatjna is the best of Mari Boine's albums. (Dirk.Kastens@rz.Uni-Osnabrueck.DE)

I find it hard to distinguish between her discs but I like them all! This one has more of a focus on her band, but has the same earthy, folky feel of the previous ones. This is "world" music at its best: universally appealing, but with a strong flavour of her homeland. (Neile)


Remixed

Release info:

2001—Lean/Jazzland—Jazzland 014 760-2

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Mari Boine

Guest artists:

Remixes by: Nils Petter Molaær & Jan Bang; Biosphere; Those Norwegians; Bill Laswell; Mirk de Clive-Lowe; Jah Wobble; Chilluminati; Future Prophecies; Roger Ludvigsen, Fred Ellinsen & Thomas Sonnenberg.

Comments:

I'm not a big fan of remixes, Usually they bury the music or get caught up in noodling around, but Mari Boine's sound and power here is so strong that it anchors all of these, and I find all of them interesting (though the final one goes too far off into abstraction for my tastes). Overall, this is a remix album well worth listening to for the various approaches to Mari Boine's strong, powerfully earthy mystical sound, which is still at the root of it all. (Neile)

Gávcci Jahkejudgu/Eight Seasons

Release info:

2002—Lean—017 019-2

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Mari Boine—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Jan Garbarek—tenor saxophone
Roger Ludvigsen—guitars, loops
Svein Schultz—bass, bass harmonics
Kenneth Ekornes—drums, percussion, sounds, electronic percussion
Richard Thomas—soprano saxophone, flute
Carlos Z Quispe—flute, charango
Bugge Wesseltoft—synth, program, percussion

Produced by:

Bugge Wesseltoft

Comments:

A lovely collection, slightly more mournful and and a little more mellow-sounding than her previous releases (perhaps because of the different instruments used here?) There is some really lovely, dreamy instrumentation here (all beat-driven, of course) and Mari's voice gets shown off: yearning, breathing, evocative and invoking. Powerful music, and highly recommended. (Neile)

Idjagieðas/In The Hand of the Night

Release info:

2006—Lean—6024 98554869

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Mari Boine—vocals, additional vocals

Guest artists:

Svein Schultz—bass on 8 tracks, guitar on 2 tracks, vocal on 2 tracks, talking bass on 2 tracks, keyboards and programming on 7 tracks
Gunnar Augland—percussion on 7 tracks, drums on 4 tracks, vacuum-cleaner on 1 track, berimbau on 2 tracks, vocal on 1 track
Peter Skaare Baden—percussion on 7 tracks, vocal on 1 track
Carlos Zamata Quispe—violin on 1 track, flutes on 2 tracks
vocal on 2 tracks, charango on 4 tracks, bouzouki on 2 tracks
Ole Jørn Myklebust—trumpet on 7 tracks, vocal on 1 track
Georg Buljo—guitars on 9 tracks, cavaquinho on 2 tracks, vocal on 2 tracks
Malika Makouf Rasmussen—gimbre on 3 tracks, darboka on 1 track
Sanjally Jobarteh—kora on 2 tracks, vocal on 1 track
Sibuisisiwe Ncube—mbira on 1 track
Terje Rypdal—guitar on 1 track
Ross Reaver—guitar on 1 track, worldstick on 1 track
Kenneth Ekornes—additional percussion on 5 tracks
Marry Sarre—additional vocals on 1 track
Anitta Sukkari—additional vocals on 1 track

Produced by:

Svein Schultz

Comments:

What a delight this album is! I almost didn't buy it, thinking that I probably had enough Mari Boine already, but I'm so glad I did. This is a particularly lively, lovely, and varied collection of songs. One of her strongest albums and highly, highly recommended. (Neile)

Sterna Paradisea

Release info:

2009—Lean

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Mari Boine—vocals, vocal effects

Guest artists:

George Buljo—acoustic guitars (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9); 10-string guitar (1, 3); mandola (1, 8); electric guitars (4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10); wurlitzer (4); additional vocals (7); greek baglama (7); 12-string guitar (8); keyboards (10)
Svein Schultz—bass (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8); keyboards (1, 4); backing vocals (1); percussion (6, 7); additional percussion (1, 3, 4, 6, 8); electric guitar (6); slide guitar (6)
Ole Jørn Mykelbust—trumpet (1, 9); xaphoon (2, 4, 10); muted flugelhorn (3, 5, 11); backing vocals (3, 4, 5); world stick (4, 6); keyboards (4, 11); accordion (4); electric guitar (6), acoustic guitar (6); semi-arabic vocals (7, 9); muted trumpet (7); handclaps (9); xaphoon groove (9); xaphoon effects (10)
Gunnar Augland—drums (1); percussion; (1, 3, 10); acoustic guitars (1); bass kalimba (6, 7); talking drum, hand drums (6, 8); snare (6); bass guitar (10)
Madosini—vocals (2, 7, 10)
Abaqondisi Brothers—choir
Kenneth Ekornes—percussion (7)
Per Einar Watle—electric guitar (7)
Bjøn Charles Dreyer—baritone guitar (7, 9)
Herman Rundberg—slide guitar, perucssion (7)

Produced by:

Svein Schultz; co-produced by Ole Jørn Myklebust

Comments:

I don't know why it took me so long to buy this album—maybe for the same reason as the previous one—that I don't play her albums enough and keep thinking that because of that I may have enough of them. But each time I get one and play one I wonder why I have taken so long. Her music is so wonderful. Full of heart but never smarmy. I love her collaborations here that give two songs an African flavour and especially "The Mischievous" which has a Middle Eastern flavour. Wow. (Neile)


Thanks to Ariel Brennan for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2014-03-18 18:39:09.
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