Boomkat Product Review:
A welcome and typically beguiling return from Finland's Merja Kokkonen aka Islaja, who's now dropped the freakier folk elements in favour of trippier, modern art-pop and minimal wave. Four years since we last heard from her on Fonal with 'Keraaminen Pää', and in the Hertta Lussu Ässä trio for De Stijl, it would appear she's had a radical revision of her sound now stalking ground somewhere between Björk and Maria Minerva, yet without any concession to her strikingly unique, oneiric sound. You could possibly attribute her palette shift to the input of Heidi Mortenson, who co-produced and mixed the album, but it's also likely her residence in Berlin has has some impact, not least in bringing her to the attentions of city stalwart Gundrun Gut and her Monika Enterprise, but also probably inspiring the album's slippery, slow grooving backbone. Between the slow sci-fi synth and dramatic vocals of 'See No Sun', the astral synth trajectory of 'Temporary Haven', the chamber techno pop of 'Siren Call' and poised art-pop of 'Lay By My Side', we're faced with one of the oddest outsider pop albums of recent times.