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Laulu laakson kukista

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Album Review

Paavoharju's second release for Fonal finds Lauri and Olli Ainala, the brothers who make up the core duo, and company again exploring their zest for moody, textured compositions that are part sound-installation, part soundtrack, with an emphasis on generally shorter, sometimes fractured compositions. Often Laulu Laakson Kukista seems like it could just as easily be on the Friendly Noise label from Sweden, as there's a similar sense of technology being used for purposes both elegantly artistic and immediate; if songs like the ebb-and-flow of the opening "Pimeankarkelo" and the drowned-piano fragment "Alania" aren't going to set radios on fire, they are immediately appealing . The merry shuffle and kick of "Kevatrumpu," which sounds like one of the Blade Runner soundtrack's vocal numbers given a murky dance floor setting, and the sweeping "Uskallan," possessing the feeling of a dramatic 1960s film ballad fed through a static-plagued PA — but in intentional and very attractive fashion — are two of the more forthright numbers, sounding like snippets from some grand production sensed only in bits. Other songs like the sea-shanty-goes-Jacques Brel "Italialaisella Laivalla" and the more openly indie-pop "Tytto Tanssii," with its guitar lope and synth-horn break floating over a softly rumbling cloud of melancholic, echoing textures, further add to the understated but enjoyable variety of a fine album.

Laulu laakson kukista, Paavoharju
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