Farmers Market, Musikk Fra Hybridene

Peter Margasak

By Peter Margasak

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
They might be a novelty act — if they didn’t pull it off with such rigor and charm.

This beguiling quintet channels severe stylistic and geographical dislocation, its quick-blink patchworks and high-octane breakdowns technically dazzling. Led by accordionist Stian Carstensten, the core of the band's music is breakneck Bulgarian wedding music — the sort popularized by the great clarinetist Ivo Papasov — and they've got a ringer in Bulgarian reedist Trifon Trifonov, the only non-Norwegian member. The band has a sure-fire grip on tradition, but drummer Jarle Vespestad and guitarist Nils Olav Johansen put their own Nordic spin on the proceedings. Farmers Market also includes wild descents into bebop, disco, funk, techno, punk rock, American country music and tango, among others; there are a couple of mind-bending medleys of hackneyed material (TV show themes, bossa nova, Van Halen's “Jump”) that completely transform the originals; they might be a novelty act if they didn't pull it off with such rigor and charm.