Label: Fat Cat Release Date: 13/04/09 Link: A few years ago, I was at a show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. One minute, everything was as it should be—the next minute, Stórsveit Nix Noltes walked out on stage. What happened next was perhaps the most unreal and ethereal forty minutes of Balkan folk music to have ever been played in a Tri-State venue. One by one, the band members walked out, each carrying a bizarrely different instrument. A girl with an accordion, a boy with a keytar, a boy with an upright bass and a sousaphone…it went on and on until the stage was filled with a dozen beautiful Icelandic musicians carrying the contents of both a music store and a junk shop. They played drums, they played pots and pans. My heart swelled up in my throat and I spent the next year looking for an album-- and I found nothing. Finally, April will see the release of their second album, “Royal Family-Divorce” and it is magical. Ten tracks of raucous, tin-roof, Bulgaria/ Balkan blasting. “Recorded live to 1" 16 track tape in a small cottage with a room that paradoxically fitted all of the members at once, the proudly self-produced “Royal Family-Divorce.” The tracks are massively new and wildly old. Mixing folk accordion that grandpa may have heard in the old country with electric beats and hissing. On the second track, “Krivo Sadovsko Horo,” Eastern European trumpets are pushed aside by rhythmic drums and electric whoops. “Pajdusko” sounds like a triumphant garage band playing an Albanian village wedding which is crashed at the end by a drunk 1970s Johnny Rotten in a bad mood. Things crash and boom as something in the background tries to keep the order of the folk beats. “Kopanista” sounds like a chase through small, winding, Bulgarian village streets—streets lined with trumpets and mud, with a broken radio playing out an old woman’s window. “Cetvorno Horo” is the more expected minimalist Icelanding murmering and hazy frozen mists. “Royal Family-Divorce” is not a traditional rock album, and it would probably sound a bit jarring on a mix tape next to most of the bands profiled on the 405. But for a trip through old and new, conventional and truly experimental, Storsveit Nix Noltes really bring it on.