Exposé Online banner

Aalto — Ikaro
(Uuluu FIK5U1400001-8, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-03-22

Ikaro Cover artThe world music frontier hosts a seemingly endless array of combinative variations pulling in diverse influences from many different cultures. Add to that the influence of jazz, psychedelic music, rock, traditional folk and one can end up with a potent stew of endless possibilities, which is what keeps this style of music interesting. Enter Aalto, a Finnish sextet with a couple previous releases (they aren’t counting their eponymous first CDR release from 2008 when they say that Ikaro is their second album after 2012’s Tuulilabyrintit) and an open minded take on pan-cultural folk music, which in their case includes elements of jazz, psychedelic and experimental leanings. Between the six members, they cover female and male vocals, sitar, guitar, banjo, mandolin, mandola, tamboura, kantele (a Scandinavian zither), clarinet, bass clarinet, doshpuluur (a three-stringed Tuvan lute), didjeridoo, drums and percussion. The eight tracks pull together a lot of influences well beyond the folk music of their native Scandinavia, but it is there as sort of a centering point for all of what they do. Many of the vocal passages are wordless, with an almost Native-American character. One may hear what seem to be the influences of those who have gone down this path before: Oriental Wind, Piirpauke, Embryo, and others, and then there are those powerful psychedelic and progressive influences at many points throughout, that hint at the music of Gong, Dzyan, Pentangle, and even King Crimson. For those looking for a powerful, primarily acoustic take on world music mixed with folk and plenty of adventure, this one is for you.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Aalto

Latest news

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart $amp; Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Katzenjammer Kabarett - Grand Guignol & Variétés – Their name is German, they sing in English, but they are indeed French. I must have missed this band's 2006 debut, but I guess it's never too late to discover a good thing, and this four-piece...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues