A (mostly) solo outing from Finland?s inimitable Keijo, this cd on Philadelphia?s Fire Museum Records offers yet another glimpse into the sonic landscapes and homegrown blues only he can provide. Culled from what appear to be two live performances in Finland, and abetted by ?Leila? on four tracks, this release is both well conceptualized and executed, neither of which will come as a shock if you?ve at all followed Keijo?s musical activity over the last few years.
The lack of liner notes and/or much information on the recording leaves us to the aural evidence on display. The affair starts off in perfect fashion with ?when we?ll meet?, an accordion drone, simple drum beat and psych guitar leads. It?s an appropriate invitation into Keijo?s world, and it?s an easily accessible entryway. From there, things get far more introspective and hypnotic. Analog synths bump up with gentle drums and lilting guitars. The second track, ?landing here?, evokes the ghost of Sun Ra in the most mellow of moods. In fact, Ra?s influence is felt throughout the disc, not only in the synth action, but also in the percussion grooves and sense of rhythmic exploration. Along with these Saturnian influences, it?s tough to escape Keijo?s constant blues references, but who?d want to when they?re this good? His particular take on the blues is a wandering and searching one that is almost always filtered through a slightly shambolic lens of psych, drone, and the type of organic, acoustic improvisation that have colored so much music from Finland in the past five years or so.
What comes through most clearly is Keijo?s joy in sound making. It?s not overly ambitious and never reaches too far. Instead, it compiles a series of successful notions and sketches, deftly weaving them together with a consistent narrative thread. The best of the tracks here take simple ideas and explore them fully. The recording quality is nice, but thankfully avoids too much polish. There?s just the right touch of lo-fi ambience to evoke the organic mystery of his other records. And like those past successes, this one coalesces into a magical whole that is far more than the sum of its parts and influences. It?s got a very immediate accessibility, and while it doesn?t offer the abstract excursions of some of his Finnish counterparts, don?t let that distract you. This record is an unqualified success and one that should help bring some more folks on board. 8/10 -- Eric Hardiman (8 January, 2008)