Exposé Online banner

Pepa Päivinen & Good Romans — Felix Culpa
(Finnish Explosion 006, 2018, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2019-02-28

Felix Culpa Cover art

Felix Culpa is the third release by reedman Pepa Päivinen and the duo Good Romans, which consists of Ilari Filander (guitar) and Jussi Miettola (drums). The album features 12 tracks of improvisations, none of which pay much heed to tonality or pulse. While I wouldn’t recommend the music for listeners who favor melody and traditional structures, I find it quite enjoyable. Often the mood is on the meditative side, without a lot of sonic density to clutter up one’s attention. Päivinen contributes a variety of instruments, from saxes to bass clarinet and what sounds like several kinds of flute — the credits just say “reeds,” and there are electronic devices involved, so it’s impossible to say for sure. His playing is sometimes highly melodic, but at other times ventures into sound effects like blowing through an instrument without engaging the reed, and sometimes is looped to provide soft carpets of notes. Filander uses both electric and acoustic guitar plus occasional banjo, and at times uses a pedal to drop the notes down into the bass register. There are sometimes squalls of feedback, but they are kept to a low volume and act more as atmosphere than foreground. He also utilizes a lot of different techniques, and generally avoids chords in favor of single lines and effects. Miettola’s percussion features a lot of metallic bell and gong sounds, and many sounds of indecipherable origin. There is usually not a steady pulse, though I must admit my favorite track is probably “Ghost Returning” which has a quietly throbbing beat on the toms for most of its duration, along with dissonant guitar tones and some beautiful bass clarinet work. Felix Culpa is certainly a release that’s pretty far out towards the free side of jazz, though it’s an example of how good freedom can be in the right hands.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Pepa Päivinen, Good Romans, Jussi Miettola

More info
http://pepapaivinengoodromans.bandcamp.com/album/felix-culpa

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Murray Head - Restless – Murray Head is one of those few mid-60s singer/songwriters who seems at home on the silver screen as much as in a recording studio. In a career that has spanned almost four decades, it's clear...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues