Sunday, August 9, 2009

[Old but important] Paavoharju Tuote-akatemia/Unien Savonlinna (Miasmah)

Talking about a finnish folk music movement, so-called forest folk, it is impossible not to see the impact of the Fonal records in reference to it. The artists who fill the roster are Eleonoora Rosenholm, Islaja, Kiila, Kemialliset Ystävät and Paavoharju amongst others. If we add some other acts like Uton, Lau Nau, Keijo, Vierivä Viiksiportieeri, Hipsu Jänis, Thuoom, Kuupuu, Keijo we can already have a talk about the New Weird Finland movement. The influence of Fonal and New Weird Finland can`t be seen only inside the borders of Finland, but certainly in broader context of the world music scene. Juxtaposing New Weird Finland with its big brother New Weird America, there can see a common part in crossing modern streams of pop music such as indie, ambient, drone, electronic music and roots music with each other. Given that NWA demonstrated that enormous potential of such music filled with inspiring vitality in the first half of 00`s, especially through the albums of Six Organs Of Admittance, Animal Collective, and Phil Elverum`s acts, yet its bucking innovative sonic conceptions have inch by inch and inconspicuously been faden away. I think, it is time for finns to conquer the world and define avant-folk at your own now. If they haven`t done it yet, I would suppose.

Paavoharju seems probably to be the more known act from the finnish scene, first and foremost thanks to their latest release Laulu Laakson Kukista (2008). Maybe the lesser known fact is it that their second release Tuote-akatemia/Unien Savonlinna (2006) was released under Miasmah netlabel. At those time it was a quite unusual behaving act by the artist, whose first album Yhä Hämärää (2005) had been acclaimed by music critics and therefore drew a lot of attention (in fact, I can`t honestly understand why Wikipedia wouldn`t be accepting it as the finns´ second album).

Moreover, Tuote-akatemia/Unien Savonlinna could in a sense be considered as their first album because it had been composed and produced between 2002 and 2006. The opening track Nuo Maisemat is an esoteric mix of digital noises and swirls, expansive sonic layers, beatific female voices (Jenni Koivistoinen) and almost burked rhythm structures. Kuljin Kauas is the one and only track on the album performed at the stage of an open air festival in Finland somewhere. Tavataan 12-07-04 sounds like breathing from Intergalactic Space gently disturbed by overriding feedback effects. Its abstract patterns and playing with motion and speed will give the best possibility to the listeners to relax into your deepest natural meditation and surpass everyday routine. Noises coming out from nowhence over time just to get spilled over into your brain and imagination. The next track The Mitä Sinä Et Ole starts off sounding with dirky dink synth pads which throughout the track get accompanied with the voice effects of Soila Virtanen and digitally elaborated sound tricks swirling overhead. Pepe is a devout “folk pop” song, however, every solid folk group having it in their repertoire would be proud of it anyway. By the way, this album is “dedicated to the Holy of the Holiest”. Also, the two last tracks will continue chalking out the traces of God as well. The brothers Ainala and co are playing game as if they embodied into sonic alchemists sometimes. They as alchemists have been more successful in their doings than any of their predecessors in Middle Ages, having respect and fame rather than in comparison to be excoriated and burnt up to death at autodafe.

Download it from here