INCLUDES 12 TRACKS
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paavoharju - Laulu Laakson Kukista
It's hard to pin down precisely what it is that's so alluring about Finland's hugely acclaimed Paavoharju, but the consensus seems to have been that their remarkable debut album "Yha Hamaraa" quite simply managed to marry a myriad disjointed influences and sound sources without ever sounding like it was trying too hard. If you've never heard the music of Paavoharju, prepare yourself for one of life's more considerable and uncontained pleasures. They are a band who take in influence from the "Radio India" style shortwave pop transmissions of the Sublime Frequencies label, freak folk, Europop, modern classical, plunderphonics, choral, devotional, experimental and multicoloured music of almost every description imaginable - and yet they embody a specific sound that's unmistakably their own. Their aforementioned debut "Yha Hamaraa" made such an impact when it first came out that it seemed to unify music critics and the buying public from all ends of the musical spectrum, worshipped by chin-stroking journalists and passers by alike - one of those records that you could play almost anywhere and guarantee people would virtually queue to ask who it was by and where they could buy it. Their long awaited follow-up "Laulu Laakson Kukista" does that remarkable thing and doesn't disappoint. The scope and energy here is once again impossible to contain - opening with drone washes, de-tuned music box tones and vocals degraded by worn down analogue tape, it sounds like a day in the park, a far away ice cream van, an orchestra rehearsing and Fennesz doing a soundcheck all at the same time. From there we go to "Kevätrumpu" - an absolutely genius generic jamboree that sounds like Kylie Minogue playing with a backing band that's half Finnish folk and half Bolywood session band, recorded to a four-track recorder that's been thrown into the sea and discovered 20 years later by some fortunate anthropologist. Heck, there are even some Autechre-style rhythmic distortions towards the end of the track - you just couldn't make it up, and it sounds SO good. Next - "Tuoksu Tarttuu Meihin" takes in some far away solo piano and quietly malfunctioning distortion pedals in a Tim Hecker meets Akira Rabelais sort of fashion, while "Ursulan Uni" sounds like a cross between Isan and Philip Jeck - and is just utterly beautiful. It's virtually impossible to sum up the sheer brilliance and scope of this schizophrenic yet brilliantly coherent album, it shimmers with all the excitement and knowledge of a seemingly endless stream of influence and once again manages to sound unlike anything you'll have ever heard before in your life. And believe us when we say that recommendations really don't come much higher than that. An utterly Essential Purchase.