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CD REVIEW: IVA NOVA. Chemodan
Geometriya GEO 011

It is late, I'm tired, just one more vodka before I head back to my hotel - the search for ethnic-based Russian rock has proved pretty fruitless - in St Petersburg for a few days. My eyes scan the wall, the flyers and posters show endless metal, punk and prog, then from the shadows, a silent character slips a torn cigarette packet top on to the table. "You seek something Russian, with fire? You need Iva Nova." Thus saying he departs back into the inky recesses of the bar and leaves me with a name, my vodka and a mystery - Iva Nova.

All fantasy of course, I've never been to any part of Russia, let alone the glories of St Petersburg, but there it is you'll find Iva Nova, who found me by the usual method - envelope through the front door, courtesy of fRoots Central - jolly glad they called though.

This is a lithe, noisy, scatty beast that really does give off vibes of its homeland, the creation of five liberal-minded, radical thinking female musicians who partied up some old Russian folk songs for a one-off rally in 1998. Now the plan has coalesced into this second studio set, Chemodan, or Suitcase to you.

It's an album that reels and totters from Brecht black theatre one moment to almost oi the next, rooted in a big fat Russian accordeon that sounds like it's heralding a Cossack dance troupe. Ska and jazz get nods as well as a huge, dirty guitar sound and a rim shot rhythm section that'd do the Stray Cats proud. With songs in a variety of tongues including Georgian, Tartar and Bulgarian, thankfully there is an English insert, Suitcase being a very apt title for a CD built up of character sketches, experiences, observations and a singular intention to party hearty. I like this, I like it loads and I think you will too; real shame they're only touring on the continent, Iva Nova really would set a fire on our side of the North sea. Never a dull moment.

Simon Jones, fRoots Magazine

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Iva Nova is an all-female quintet that had been formed in St. Petersburg in Russia in 2002, featuring singer Nastya Postnikova, guitar player Inna Lishenkevich, accordion player Elena Zhornik, bass player Ekaterina Grigoryeva, and drummer Katherina Fyodorova. So there is everything for a rock'n'roll, ska and punk band. On the other side the five young ladies are deeply rooted in their native music. They write original songs based on traditional Russian music. It is fast, fun, rocking - and for the dancers. Lyrics are in Russian as well as in other Slavic languages. One of the most exciting bands coming from Russia in quite some time, the girls probably bring every house down.

Walkin' T:-)M http://www.folkworld.de/

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