Exposé Online banner

Alo Mattiisen — Read
(MAAT 513781-95-3, 1995, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 2001-03-01

Read Cover art

After some none-too-fulfilling encounters with the likes of Eloy Fritsch and Artemiy Artemiev, I was becoming weary of what my next task with reviewing synthesizer-based music would hold. Alas, this time it’s a winner! Alo Mattiisen from Estonia is in a class all of his own and cannot be likened to any other electronics composer I know of. Not that he doesn’t share certain artistic compatibilities; like Vangelis, he understands that you don’t have to abandon melody, tone, and musical motion, in order to create something that is atmospheric and mood-enhancing, without succumbing to the shallow sentimentality of popular New Age music. Furthermore, I detect that Alo has had some good solid classical training either in composition, or piano. Why? Because there is an understated confidence exuded on Read that doesn’t try to blow you away with Third World tribal magic, culture crossing, or cosmic profundity. Actually, Mattiisen’s music is very abstract, leaving the listener lots of freedom of interpretation. And yet every composition on the CD is devoted to a single motivic theme. Economy of means is something he never sacrifices; the sign of a good composer. Most often he keeps his musicality quite reserved and dispassionate, redolent of a temperament born in the icy environs of Northern Europe. Beauty, majesty, stillness and simplicity are what Alo captures most effectively. According to the liner notes, the work was composed for the Estonia National Library. I’m not sure what the implication here is; whether for archive purposes, or to be used as source material for films, etc. This is my first chance to hear his music and I hope it isn’t the last.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Alo Mattiisen

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Muffins - Chronometers – A strange release at first glance. One CD, 70 plus minutes, 21 tracks, one track is 23 minutes long. Hmmm. This is a compilation of outtakes and general weirdness from 1975. The Muffins are often...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues