Saturday, 20 June 2009
Something Weird: Kemialliset Ystavat - Varisevien Tanssi / Silmujen Marssi (Kevyt Nostalgia 2003)
It's been a while since I posted anything out-of-the-ordinary, left-of-centre or slightly-off-kilter, so this great album fits all those bills. Kemialliset Ysatvat have been quietly ploughing their own unique furrow in Finland since 1995, passing those long winter nights making weird, improvised twilight noise. Their music is often described as freakfolk or psyche-folk, and there is certainly something folky about the sounds they make, complete with flutes and recorders, and all kinds of acoustic stringed instruments, but this is a fractured noise that possibly reflects the fractured nature of the 21st Century European 'folk', or the difficulties inherent in trying to think any kind of 'volkish' collective in the digital age.
However, there's more going on here than midnight woodland yodellings and bellringing as Kemialliset Ystavat (Finnish for 'Chemical Friends') introduce us to rasping animal grunts and squeels, looped and fed through ancient samplers and antique effects pedals. There is something mystical and shamanic, something ecstatic, about this music, but then again it seems shot through with boredom and ennui, and it sounds at times like something you might find sitting on the turntable of a broken down gramophone in a long forgotten attic where dust and cobwebs shimmer in the shafts of sunlight that creep through gaps in the rooftiles. Its a magical sound, but weirdly mundane.
This album collects two very limited cdrs that were released in 2001 and 2002 and throws them onto one lovely slab of vinyl. Its a fascinating album from a fascinating band who are very much alive and kicking, and I urge you to check it out then try and see them live because they really put on a great show.
All songs are untitled so you just get an mp3 of each side.
Get it here.