Boomkat Product Review:
This is so singular. "Creak-whoosh" is a brilliantly unusual Aussie re-imagining of Estonian choral music sung by the children of Estonian refugees and juxtaposed with off-world synthesizer drones and chunky '80s beatbox rhythms. Released in 1988, it sounds like Arvo Pärt, Ryuichi Sakamoto/YMO and Visible Cloaks playing concurrently = a complete one-off.
We've never heard anything quite like this before. Sydney-based musicians Olev Muska and Mihkel Tartu wanted to find a way to rework Finno-Ugric folk music for a new generation. They took the contemporary choral compositions of Veljo Tormis, and re-imagined them for electronic instruments, reshaping hundreds of years of folk music to put it in line with contemporary sounds. Then they assembled a choir of Estonian-Australian singers, who added their voices to the compositions, grounding the pieces in folk humanity.
If you haven't come across Finno-Ugric folk before, there are traces of its chilly melancholy in traditional choral music that stretches across Scandinavia and Northern Europe. And the idea of it being reworked in the beating sun of Australia is truly mind-bending. Muska and Tartu's subtle electronic treatments sound glassy and distinct - not unlike Ryuichi Sakamoto's electronic re-imagining of European folk music on "The End of Europe - but it's the vocals that tip this one over the edge.
If you're into Estonian classical legend Arvo Pärt's choral pieces, this is the best comparison we can offer. But "Creak-whoosh" is rougher, weirder and more daring somehow. By trying to bring this music into a contemporary setting, the team of collaborators made something completely out of time. A rare, beautiful gem.