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Luarvik Luarvik — Passioon & Fuuga
(Strangiato Records 002, 2004, CD)

by Mike Grimes, Published 2006-05-01

Passioon & Fuuga Cover art

Passioon & Fuuga is Estonian band Luarvik Luarvik’s third release. Founded by Art students Mihkel Kleis and Andres Lõo in 1998, the group takes its name from a character in Arkadi & Boris Strugatsky's science fiction novel Hotel of the Perished Alpinist. Passioon & Fuuga (Passion and Fugue) is a mix of spacey synth drones, processed vocal parts, and avant rock jam music. Piano plays an important role in the music, but it isn’t always played in the traditional way. Several of the piano sounds on the album are that of the strings being hit, plucked, picked, and scraped or the pedals getting stomped. It’s also often run through various processing devices. Improvisation clearly plays a big role in the music too. Songs like “Tantsib huntidega” ("Dancing with Wolves") and “Maastik kadakaga” ("Landscape and Oak") have repetitive jam parts with repeating 4/4 drum patterns and synth swirls, guitar, and piano playing away on top. All of the vocal parts have some sort of heavy processing with delay, pitch shifting, and/or distortion all playing a role. “Keskpäeva nokturn” ("Nocturne at Midday") has some classical sounding piano sections accompanied by some of the heaviest drum parts on the album. Most of the songs are pattern based, with a simple one- or two-bar repetitive phrase serving as the backbone on top of which the other musical parts build. They describe their music as an “eclectic overview of experimental rock from an alien point of view.” And that’s not a bad description.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Luarvik Luarvik

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