Exposé Online banner

Jukka Iisakkila — Clocks and Clouds
(Eclipse Music ECD-201863, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-08-02

Clocks and Clouds Cover art

While Jukka Iisakkila (pronounced Eye-Sa-Keela) is probably best known in his native Finland as an orchestra conductor and a producer of other artists, including the pop band Goldfrapp and guitarist Steve Vai, he is also an outstanding multi-instrumentalist (mainly guitars and keyboards) with an interest in composing fusion instrumentals, which is precisely what the seven tracks on his new recording Clocks and Clouds are all about, much of which reflects his interest in both rock and classical music. Here he is joined by drummer Ilkka Saarikoski, who drives a busy bottom end while Iisakkila handles all the remaining instrumentation via multi-tracking. The seven minute opener, “Freefall,” displays a compositional savvy that both startles and stuns, and his fast pyrotechnic guitar soloing highlights much of the piece. Most of the structure and melody is handled by layers upon layers of keyboard variations, with some guitar comping. After a couple tunes in that vein, we come to the more overtly rocking “Inner Universe Fever,” where a powerful groove propels the piece forward with unbridled energy, until it reaches a quirky section that sounds a bit like some bits of Frank Zappa’s synclavier style. Throughout all of these tunes the powerful influence of classical music is never far away, and such is the case on “Interludes,” which bears little resemblance to jazz, or rock, or anything else for that matter, again sporting a somewhat programmed sound for much of its two-and-a-half minutes. The nearly seven minute title track carries on with a larger-than-life progressive rock sound somewhat reminiscent of the work of the late great Pekka Pohjola, and it stands as probably the most impressive piece on the entire disc. My only gripe is that many of the early pieces suffer from a somewhat muddy mix that obscures much of the compositional brilliance; that said, Clocks and Clouds stands as an exceptionally powerful statement.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Jukka Iisakkila

More info
http://eclipsemusicrecordlabel.bandcamp.com/album/clocks-and-clouds

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

FM - Black Noise – The reissue of the second album by this excellent Canadian trio has been long awaited by many. A rather nonstandard three-piece, their most unique feature was the substitution of mandolin/violin for...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues