CD: Transjoik med Sher Miandad Khan – Bewafá

Transjoik´s fifth album. Fetaturing Sher Miandad Khan, recorded in Pakistan.


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Frode Fjellheim (vocals and keyboard)
Nils-Olav Johansen (vocals and guitar)
Snorre Bjerck (percusion)
Tor Haugerud (percusion)
Sher Miandad Khan (vocals)
Sheema Mukherjee (sitar)

Made with support from Horisont/MELA in Oslo.


Playing with genre, dreamily

“Bewafá” reviewed by Mode Steinkjer in Dagsavisen, 15 October 2005

Frode Fjellheim’s musical project, Transjoik, embraces an entire world of its own on the new CD, ”Bewafá,” and it would surprise me if the world didn’t embrace it, too, when it comes out next week.

The encounter between Transjoik’s ambient trance-punk from the North Cape, and Sher Miandad, a relative of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, is a rare forging of musical brotherhood: Sher Miandad’s suggestive and instinctive use of his voice goes hand in glove with Transjoik’s equally suggestive rhythms and melodic sound stream, and this, combined with Frode Fjellheim’s joik and guitarist/vocalist Nils-Olav Johansen’s way of using his voice like a cavalier in several songs, makes for an exciting mix of the Nordic and the eastern. ”Bewafá” stands out as a high point in Transjoik’s catalog so far, a recording that further opens up their musical horizon. In expression, it lies somewhere between intense and almost quiveringly explosive “rock” and a dreamy, atmospheric act of playing with genre that swallows you up before you know it.

Transjoik crossing borders

“Bewafá” reviewed by Trygve Lundemo in Adresseavisen, 25 October 2005

“Befawa” shows that Transjoik has a much wider range to offer than the joiking that gave the band its name. Here they serve up more “trans” than joik. By that I mean that this is boundary-breaking, genre-busting music in more than one sense. Not only do they enter into a collaboration with the great Pakistani vocalist Sher Miandad Khan, who sounds entirely natural and unstrained, they also compose songs that cross all borders. As we hear the pulsating joik rhythms underneath, Transjoik’s musicians enter into a dialogue with ancient Asian traditions, even as they supply the whole with a well conceived electronic sound picture. The final result isn’t as complex as such a description may suggest. On the contrary, it is melodic and accessible. Highlights: “Befawá” and “Jinde mahi mahi.”

Transjoik going east – Fascinating musical encounter

“Bewafá” reviewed by Olav Gorseth in Bergens Tidende, 20 October 2005

For several years, Transjoik has been one of Norway’s most exciting bands. The combination of joik and electronic jazz has given them a highly recognizable identity. Now they’ve turned east and found a soulmate in the qawwali singer Sher Miandad Khan. Qawwali is the traditional music of the Muslim mystics, the Sufis. The recording was inspired by Transjoik’s visit to Lahore, Pakistan, where they had two concerts with Khan and spent a lot of time in the studio. The qawwali tradition is already known here in Norway thanks to Sher Miandad’s late relative Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who collaborated with Jan Garbarek, among others. Qawwali is passionate song, with few words, sometimes none. This commonality with joik can be heard in the encounter between Transjoik and Khan. Under it all lies the powerful carpet of sound that is typical of Transjoik. It is a fascinating musical encounter – two different ancient song traditions fuse together with hypermodern music. From it emerges something entirely new.