Orbina, Orbina Ii

Chris Nickson

By Chris Nickson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
The song of the Sámi people, updated for a new generation.

The joik is the song of the Sámi, or Lapp, people, an impressionistic description of a place, person or event that's traditionally very spare, unaccompanied singing — as you'd expect from a group of nomads. But new generations of Sámi have taken the joik in very different directions. Orbina make it the centre of their textured, evocative rock music, where the instruments become as much a part of the joik as the singing. Much of the credit belongs to the group's two keyboard players, who fill spaces and create lush, quiet atmospheres. Even at their most volatile, on "Ale Spiehkas," Orbina make a lovely, organized noise. They do slinky rather than outright funky on "Boade/Come," but they're at their best when the music has a gossamer quality, complementing the slightly unearthly voices of Inga Juuso and Lief Isak Nilut. It's music out of time that transports you to another place.