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Album Review

A sassy, pop-smart disc produced by Hijaz Mustapha, in which the women tear through Ingrian rune chants, ancient wedding songs, and centuries old village insults like there's no yesterday, twisting odd metered 13/8 or 5/8 snips of history into maddeningly affecting jump-rope jingles. As defeated sounding violin, accordion, sax, even a tin whistle burble along behind them, the four-headed, single-voiced mutant offspring of ABBA kicks its heels in a giddy blurring of the chaste and libidinous with results that often transcend novelty-act status.


Formed: 1983 in Raakkyla, Kaarelia, Finland

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the most internationally successful acts to emerge from the contemporary Finland music scene, Värttinä revitalized the nation's folk traditions with an aggressive and ultra-modern style that eschewed not only the costumes of their ancestors but also the long-accepted cultural notion that women should sing unaccompanied. A product of the folk music department at Helsinki's Sibelius Academy, Värttinä formed in the early '80s, its 21 original members all previously associated with an area youth...
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Seleniko, Värttinä
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