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

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Garmarna - Vittrad – Garmarna is doing its part to bring Swedish traditional music into the modern age, coupling the medieval sound of droning fiddles and folk melodies with energetic drums, electric guitars, and modern...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues