JPP — Artology
(NorthSide NSD6089, 2006, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01Just when you thought you'd had enough of Nordic fiddles, along comes this little gem from Finland. I like Scandinavian folk music as much as the next guy — probably more, actually — though I'll admit to approaching burnout on the genre. But I forced myself to pop this one into the player, and found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Given their limited palette of four fiddles, a harmonium, and acoustic bass, they manage a surprising diversity of sound, mixing modern with traditional, Nordic with foreign, and energetic with reflective. They wisely draw from other traditions as well, including some American swing, a Middle Eastern sounding piece, and a tango, providing a Finn's eye view of music from other countries. Sometimes the arrangements mass the fiddles together for rousing unison melodies, while at other times they split apart for harmonies or more intricate counterpoints, and even include some uncharacteristic pizzicato work. If there's a flaw, it's that the four fiddles blend together so much that none of the players is left with an individual voice. But if that was music's sole virtue we wouldn't need symphony orchestras. All of the music is original, composed by Arto Järvelä, and it is testament to his talent and sensitivity that it all works so well. I wonder what would happen if he tackled a style even further afield, say RIO or zeuhl...
Related artist(s): JPP
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more