JPP — Artology
(NorthSide NSD6089, 2006, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01Just when you thought you'd had enough of Nordic fiddles, along comes this little gem from Finland. I like Scandinavian folk music as much as the next guy — probably more, actually — though I'll admit to approaching burnout on the genre. But I forced myself to pop this one into the player, and found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Given their limited palette of four fiddles, a harmonium, and acoustic bass, they manage a surprising diversity of sound, mixing modern with traditional, Nordic with foreign, and energetic with reflective. They wisely draw from other traditions as well, including some American swing, a Middle Eastern sounding piece, and a tango, providing a Finn's eye view of music from other countries. Sometimes the arrangements mass the fiddles together for rousing unison melodies, while at other times they split apart for harmonies or more intricate counterpoints, and even include some uncharacteristic pizzicato work. If there's a flaw, it's that the four fiddles blend together so much that none of the players is left with an individual voice. But if that was music's sole virtue we wouldn't need symphony orchestras. All of the music is original, composed by Arto Järvelä, and it is testament to his talent and sensitivity that it all works so well. I wonder what would happen if he tackled a style even further afield, say RIO or zeuhl...
Related artist(s): JPP
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more