Various Omnium Omnibus

As a record label, Minnesota's Omnium Recordings specialises in interesting hybrids of rock and folk music. This compilation celebrates ten years of self-dubbed "hard trad" and the commemoration finds the cream of Omnium's crop offering up their strongest tracks. As such it is well-balanced and reasonably eclectic. While many of the tracks are essentially European-based folk music treated with amphetamine-laden guitars and drums (like Boiled in Lead's frenzied fiddle attack in "Sugarfoot Congress" or Garmarna's mid '90s "Den Bortsalda" - a Swedish folk song that crescendos into a banshee-vocal workout over pounding drums of death), there are a few tracks that fall succinctly into the more exotic world music category. Of these the most interesting are Britain's Horace X with their Turkish-meets-dancehall sounding "U.K Cosmopolitan Sound" and the West African ambassadors of a multi-stringed harp-lute called the kora, Dembo Konte & Kausu Kuyateh, who contribute the track "Ami N'Diaye." (Omnium)