Global vibes to shake up sleepy student town

  • 2005-03-09
  • By Andrei Tuch
TARTU - Tartu, that bastion of culture in Estonia, is a fitting place to host the fourth annual Land and World festival. A quartet of unique acts intend to trip the light fantastic with worldly beats that can hardly be described as anything other than colorful for this small scale celebration of world music. And in the middle of all this endlessly grim weather, it's a timely intervention as well.

The Land and World festival takes place on March 11 and kicks off at 5pm, with locals Jaak Tuksam, Riho Sibul and Robert Jurjendal joining forces to bring you the best beats from the fringes of folk, rock and ambient music. A rare sight by any standard, as you don't often see these three in the same place at the same time, but it's just the first of a highly impressive line-up.

Next up is Life and Rhythm, a collection of individuals dedicated to transplanting Hawaiian beach jams as far north as they are needed 's and trust me, they are. Then comes the nicely named Primitive Music Society, which includes some top talent employing exotic instruments to channel Pacific chill vibes for a part of the world where "to chill out" has an altogether different meaning. This sound is about soul, so if you feel like you're running short right about now, then you know where to get your fix.

As the night wears on, you may get tired of vibraphones and didgeridoos. If this is the case, then you absolutely must show up at 9 p.m. to see the Motion Trio. Straight out of Poland, these gentlemen employ the humble accordion to imitate just about anything, from jazz music to folk to techno. The amazing thing is that they do all this without any digital aids, although listening to an audio-only track, you would never believe it. You may think you know what the accordion is capable of but until you've heard the Motion Trio play around with it, you really don't.

The festival's biggest treat, however, is saved for last. Yat-Kha can loosely be described as a rock band, using guitars and percussion as a medium for the character of their homeland 's Tuva, a huge Siberian territory. Growing up in one of the world's most remote and hostile areas apparently breeds creativity of the highest degree, and the style of music dubbed Tuva Punk blends an ethnic sound with global appeal, while not being any less authentic or original for it.

Land and World is a one-day festival, but it's a lot of scintillating sound packed into a single night, and with the afterparty at Cafe Shakespeare, you can keep it going till the crack of dawn. Make no mistake 's this is not some conceptual world music show for pretentious idiots with an axe to grind. This is meant to entertain you, but in a different way. It's also a chance that doesn't come around too often, so get it while it lasts.