Exposé Online banner

Juha Kujanpää Ensemble — Kultasiipi - Goldwing
(Eclipse Music ECD-201532, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-01-19

Kultasiipi - Goldwing Cover art

Juha Kujanpää’s debut album was one of the gems of 2013, a refreshing jewel of lovely arrangements and catchy melodies combining folk, jazz, rock, and classical styles seamlessly. Kivenpyörittäjä managed the trick of being beautiful without being sappy. Kujanpää is back now with an album very similar in sound to its predecessor. The ten tracks on Kultasiipi feature a base of keyboards and/or guitar augmented by what is essentially a chamber ensemble featuring strings, woodwinds, wordless vocals, and occasional percussion (sometimes a drum kit). The style is very similar to the previous album, though with “Kahvit Kuopiossa” we get a jaunty polka-like rhythm with banjo strumming. There is perhaps a greater attention given to the electric guitar this time out, mostly as a melodic voice, often doubled by a violin. On the upbeat tunes, the strings have a Vivaldi-like sweet energy melded with the energy of Scandinavian fiddle playing, but there are also quieter parts where piano and reed organ (sounding a bit like an accordion) take over in something like a sophisticated variation on New Age music. One of my favorite tracks is “Tapiirikuningas” (“Tapir King” in English), which features handclaps for its main rhythmic part and has synthesizers integrated into the ensemble with the strings. Its melody is handled at times by the electric guitar and it resembles a very creatively arranged folk dance. Kujanpää’s orchestrations generally treat all the parts equally, not as a lead instrument backed by an ensemble, and certainly not as a one-man-band who’s expanded his influence. Kultasiipi is an incremental development of Kujanpää’s style, not a departure, and while it is a very enjoyable listen, I have to wonder if now it’s time to bring even something different, whether it be modern electronics, harmonic expansion into more dissonant sounds, or further variety in instrumentation. But it’s a lovely diversion, and almost never fails to bring a smile to my face.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Juha Kujanpää

More info
http://eclipsemusicrecordlabel.bandcamp.com/album/kultasiipi-goldwing

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Minimum Vital - La Source – On this, their fourth outing in nine years, les frères Payssan and company continue moving boldly into new territory, while retaining the essence of the sound that makes them unique among...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues