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coverpic flag Romania - Full Moon 155 - 05/09/09

Nu & Apa Neagra
The Lollipoppe Shoppe

The Lollipoppe Shoppe is an interesting an idealistic German label that has promoted mainly eastern European artists for quite some years by now. Artists of the kind you'll never find in the Eurovision Song Contest, so to speak. The name of the label is taken from an American psychedelic band of the 1960s and I guess quite a lot of the Lollipoppe music has some psychedelic over- or undertones.

Nu & Apa Neagra is the only Romanian band represented in the Shoppe so far. The band started as just Nu (meaning No) in the town of Timisoara in 2001. The Apa Negra (The Black Water) was added in 2007. I've had Omag, their latest offering, spinning for some months by now. It was quite hard to get into at first. The album includes an original blend of eastern European folk, improvised stuff, electronic excursions and some noisier parts here & there with lots of acoustic folk instruments such as saz, Romanian cobza, sitar and clarinet, to name but a few. The band draws some similarities to our Norwegian Famlende Forsøk, but with less emphasis on the spoken words and vocals, and with some substantial differences due to different origins, of course. The music is mainly instrumental. If the album had been filled entirely with outbursts of improvised and heavy stuff, it would've been too much for me, but the band knows how to balance. The melodic and calmer parts like "Omul Cu Gura De Platina" (The Man With Platinum Mouth) or "Plinsul Lui V." (V.'s Cry) tastes even better after those harder sequences.

Omag is not the album to listen to when you don't feel up to it. On the other hand, when you're filled with energy, the musical world of Nu & Apa Neagra can be very rewarding to visit.

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