Boomkat Product Review:
Sonic Pieces give life to one of the most unusual releases in their catalogue thus far; a collection of percussive pieces from Tatu Rönkkö - a long-time friend and collaborator with Efterklang with whom he also formed the band Liima. Rönkkö is regarded by some as one of the most diverse and inventive percussionists working on the contemporary field and ‘Spheres' offers a comprehensive introduction to his expansive style, having been compared to everyone from Konono No.1 to Photek and Can’s Jaki Liebezeit.
Spheres is Tatu's debut album and it arrives after close to a decade of notorious improvised performances in kitchens around Berlin and abroad, "using the room and everything in it as his instrument”. It includes self-made instruments from everyday objects, taking his performance style to the next level. As the label explain "The kitchen and the improvisations around it have been concentrated down to 6 standalone pieces of music, produced in incredible detail. The sound hovers in the darklands between tribal experimentations, 90’s jungle ambient textures and electro-acoustic endeavours. Pieces like Then remind of a more focused Aphex Twin performing with Konono No1 in the Finnish woods. While the title track Spheres even links the sound all the way back to early Photek with it's reduced cinematic textures and explosive repetitive beats.”
The opening 5 pieces are all instrumentals before the closing piece Tekoäly features much overlooked vocal pioneer and Fonal mainstay Islaja on vocals, taking the material into much more interesting terrain. Largely accessible but also making the most of those still-alien vocals, Rönkkö weaves in and around her voice with a slowly collapsing, stop-start feel that elevates proceedings into the realm of avant-pop, bringing to a close a fine, intriguing debut.