Kemialliset Ystävät “Ullakkopalo”

October 11, 2010
By Paul Simpson

I’ve been having a hard time figuring out what to say about this album.  Usually when that happens it’s because I’m trying to review an album that leaves no impression on me, or is so mediocre there’s barely any reason to talk about it.  This album couldn’t be further from that; it’s incredible and very much worth talking about.  It’s just so overwhelming and dense; what do I begin with?

Well, first off, it sounds like its cover, a colorful collage of mystic artifacts (plus some cheap electronics) that all manage to connect together somehow.  The liner notes list over a dozen players, but not what instruments are played.  The various sounds that make up the album shift unpredictably, and it can seem like there’s dozens of things going on at once.  But there’s always some rhythmic or melodic element holding everything together, and it becomes a fun game to find such an element and see where it leads your mind through.  Like, for example, the squeaky toy sound that sneaks through the first track, twisting through richocheting percussion and spiky guitars. Or the warped blues guitar lick on “Maksaruohoja,” as it strolls through a thick fog of frayed synthesizers and swirling hornet clouds of guitars and various found sounds.

Also like the album’s cover, there’s a lot going on, probably so much that you’ll miss a lot the first few times.  The album’s such a blast to listen to, though, that you’ll have no problem playing and replaying it several times in order to catch everything.


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