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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

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


Previously in Exposé...

Realm - The Path – Realm is not a new band: well over ten years ago a nearly identical lineup produced an almost unlistenable (due to the muddy mix and horrible vocal arrangements) keyboard album under the name System,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues