Can Can Heads — Butter Life
(Karkia Mistika/Verdura/Botto, 2014, LP)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-09-05Butter Life is a collection of live recordings made mostly on four-track tape from 1997 to 2014 by this noisy Finnish band. The short-version description (adjectives, not a genre) is jazzy avant-punk. Jazzy courtesy of the improvisational nature of much of the music as well as the wild sax work of Janne Martinkauppi. Several band members contribute vocals at times, though singing wouldn't really be the right word. Guitarist Raine Liimakka often jumps around from doubling the bass lines to crazy bursts of noise. The one constant among all 19 tracks (mostly under three minutes) is bassist Tomi Nuotio, who attacks his instrument fiercely, often providing the rhythmic impetus while the drums (mostly Janne-Mäki Turja) wander off on chaotic tangents. On several tracks, the dedicated vocalist is Mikko Lehtonen, though the others (as well as guests) provide additional ranting and raving. The fidelity of the recordings might be a sticking point for finicky listeners. On the one hand, it's surprisingly good considering the sources. On the other, it is by no means studio quality. But the lo-fi grit of the sound suits the music perfectly, and I find it perfectly acceptable. And the inconsistency is almost a plus, cutting between older cassette recordings to newer digital ones (there's even an iPhone credited), with very different noise levels and tones. In spite of the ranting and wailing, it sounds rather like they're having fun, and their audiences did too. If they lived in Chicago, they'd be right at home on Skin Graft, but through the wonder of the internet, Finland is as close as your computer.
Related artist(s): Can Can Heads
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more