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viernes, 14 de agosto de 2015

Utopianisti - Utopianisti (2011)

Artista: Utopianisti
Álbum: Utopianisti
Año: 2011
Género: Jazz Rock / Fusión
Duración: 52:43
Nacionalidad: Finlandia

Lista de Temas:
1. Alkusoitto
2. Plutonium Fist
3. Grain de L'âme
4. Avaruuden Shamaanit
5. Waltz for FZ
6. Castro Brothers
7. Kärry
8. Markus-Sedän Letkeämpi Klezmer
9. Bordeaux
10. Hopeinen Kyy
11. Sull'on Mies Joka Planeetalla
12. Tuonelan Lautturi

Markus Pajakkala / drums, percussion, keyboards, flute, soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, vocals
Ville Rauhala / double bass
Timi-Artturi Mäkelä / bass, synthesizer
Jukkis Virtanen / bass
Ville Kyttälä / bass
Anssi Salminen / guitar
Tom Gardiner / guitar
Antero Mentu / guitar, sitar
J-P Jääskeläinen / xylophone, marimba, vibraphone
Masa Orpana / clarinet, alto saxophone
Olli Helin / trumpet
Juho Viljanen / trombone
Ilkka Puputti / french horn
Markus Luomala / accordion
Tero Hyväluoma / fiddle
String quartet:
Annica Brännkärr / 1. violin
Juho Puronaho / 2. violin
Tero Hyväluoma / viola
Veera Perkola / cello

Hoy tenemos incontinencia musical, cosa que les vendrá muy bien para disfrutar de este fin de semana largo y con pocas posibilidades de que salga el sol, aunque somo dice Marilina siempre está pero andá a saber donde carajo se metió. Ahora intuímos que se fue para Finlandia y el Mago Alberto lo fue a buscar, creo que no lo encontró pero a cambio se trajo este disco que se las trae.
Vamos a ver que es lo que nos cuenta de este disco sorprendente:

Y ya que estamos en invierno que mejor darnos una vueltita por el frio rock nórdico y presentar a Markus Pajakkala multinstrumentista finlandés con su proyecto Utopianisti, Markus Pajakkala un típico loquillo que se encarga de todo y que todo lo hace bien, algo así como un Oldfield moderno, pero con un tinte despiadado a la hora de componer.
Este primer trabajo del 2011 nos muestra a un Pajakkala contundente, ofreciéndonos su mezcla de swing-jazz-moderno con un parentesco muy similar a los suecos de Diablo Swing Orchestra, pero muchísimo más arreglado, el muchacho se encarga de reunir a músicos sesionistas y elaborar sus proyectos que no quedan solo en Utopianisti sino que vale la pena darse una vuelta por bandcamp y escuchar también algo de Poutatorvi.
Una profunda admiración por Frank Zappa lo vuelca de lleno a esas mixturas de vientos que deambulan por el jazz más tradicional pasando por el vals, y se nota muchísimo su influencia zappezca en todo el álbum (hasta le dedica una canción). Vale la pena mirar el video adjunto donde versiona "Zomby Woof" del Franky.
Un finlandés que se las trae, que nos sumerge en ritmos sincopados, que caen de pronto en dimensiones funk, para terminar deambulando por características típicas del jazz más tradicional. Acompañado por sonidos de teclados que recuerdan las bandas de los años 50. Todo esto en una mezcla en ebullición permanente, donde pareciera faltar solo el jopo y la falda corta.
Es increíble como nos llegan de la península nórdica estos trabajos que van amalgamando de a poco la gran masa musical, que identifica y promueve a tantos músicos de aquellos lejanos países.
Utopianisti nos llena de esa espontaneidad y libertad que impregna el jazz pero también abre horizontes para escuchar algo mas depurado y trabajado desde el estudio, cosa que Pajakkala nos demuestra que conoce muy bien, su trabajo del 2013 es tan sorprendente como éste, pueden darse otra vueltita por bandcamp para saber de lo que estoy hablando.
Nos queda en el tintero para seguir con Finlandia algo también de los Kingston Wall, power trio que también se las trae, que ya no existen más pero esto ya es otra historia. Salutti a tutti particulare per Utopianisti.

Finland is a cold place. It's also dark for a lengthy period of time. In fact, that's exactly the kind of place I'd like to live in! With a depressive atmosphere and gloomy music being played by the local bands and musicians. But then you have folks like Markus Pajakkala, who come and ruin the whole thing for you? They play this upbeat and energetic music that makes you want to move your head and feet, music that you can't help but have your senses shaken and your spirit lifted upon listening to it. Damn it, I'm trying to be depressed here! Those young kids and their damned upbeat and excellent music!
Ok, Let me start again. Allow me to ask you a few questions before proceeding: Have you ever wanted to hear a heavy and eclectic Big Band performance? Are you curious as to the possibilities of having a large ensemble of musicians, practically an small orchestra, playing a mix made up of blues, jazz and rock with a little metal-ic leanings as well as some electronic effects added for good measure? Do you like the sort of music from Frank Zappa, Alamaailman Vasarat, Mr. Bungle, miRthkon, Zorn's Dreamers, et al.? Is the notion of an instrumental extravaganza beating your ears constantly, excite you? If you've answered Yes to any of the above, you might want to give Utopianisti a listen!
Markus Pajakkala has assembled a full orchestra around him and recorded a fabulous diverse album. By now you get the idea of what kind of sounds and styles to expect; while you can hear influences or similarities to the afore mentioned groups and musicians, Markus has done a stellar job at bringing his vision to life and creating fresh and uplifting music. Indeed, there is much to rejoice for those who love their music being a mix of various styles, but done effectively and in good measure. Moreover, if you like your music to be engaging, energetic and at fast pace, this would make you happy as well. I particularly liked the more exotic sounding tracks, like Kärry, with fantastic percussion and groovy beat and rhythm. Another magnificent track was Markus-sedän letkeämpi klezmer with it's various styles interjectd within the composition ? this track alone shows the diversity of Markus and his talent at combining various approaches into a wholesome piece. Markus also reaches out for a French flavour in the cool track Bordeaux, with the requisite accordion and the sentimental string instruments. But if you want a more representative piece of the album, try the second aptly named track, Plutonium Fist. As the name suggests, it is a punch to the face with its ferocious and aggressive beat and tune. This radioactive track holds together touches of blues, jazz-rock and a little metal-ish touch. Or you could go for some gypsy and folk inspired powerful pieces like Hopeinen kyy with extraordinary drumming and percussion that underlie demented and superb violin playing. I wrote that this is an instrumental album but there is one sung piece, Sull'on mies joka planeetalla, in which Markus sings and he does so well. A bluesy and hard rock piece, but with the brass instruments playing along, this sounds so much richer than an average blues/rock song. I also need to mention the great guitar solo played in the middle of the song.
It is a dense and heavy album, due to the massive sound of the orchestra and the nature of the music. I felt exhausted after each listen, but then I always wanted more of it immediately after.
I'm so happy to have found an album, so early in 2011, that made me go "Wow!! This is incredible". This is an early contender for the top 2011 albums list. To be played loud!
Assaf Vestin

Sounds like Mr. Bungle's stupid jazz rallies, also a bit Alamaailman Vasarat. Annoying joke and too laid-back. "Castro brothers" is a great song anyway, reminding me of Frank Zappa and Finnish XL... even so much that I wonder if it's plagiarism... " Markus-sedän letkeämpi klezmer" has some proggy nice moments in it. "Hopeinen Kyy" has more arabic stuff in it, but it is fast and dynamic, like Indian Bhangra, reminding me also of Area and some Israeli prog. It's a very interesting folk prog song.
This is just entertainment music.

Utopianisti is a Finnish project of multi-instrumentalist Markus Pajakkala; the second album has just been released (I'll review that later). This debut is amazing and I hope that Utopianisti gets the international recognition it deeply deserves. Avestin's review is very good and I fully agree upon its each comment. Indeed this is music that gets your body shake and makes you feel happy, at least if you listen to it in a suitable mood. Very far from being dead serious! The lively, joyful spirit catches the listener too. Pajakkala is rather young chap but what a talent he is! He plays drums and other percussion, several saxes, flute and keyboards (plus sings on one track) and he's responsible of the arrangements that often approach the big band. All the music is composed by him. Since Utopianisti is not a touring band, he has recruited all the guests for the needs of each individual track, just like Robert Wyatt did after his body injury. The old ace Anssi Tikanmäki has co- produced the album.
'Plutonium Fist' (and its half-minute distorted intro 'Alkusoitto') is like a high speed twist with the emphasis on drums and saxophone. 'Grain de l'âme' is one of my favourites, it shows Pajakkala's versatility as composer and arranger, as it features also more delicate parts starring flute and keyboards. 'Avaruuden shamaanit' (The Space Shamans) is a funky tune built on a baritone saxophone phrase. I find it a bit boring in its repetitiveness.
'Waltz for FZ' (meaning Frank Zappa, naturally) is another highlight. A melodic, lively and richly arranged composition mostly in danceable mid-tempo. I hear some Pekka Pohjola influence. J-P Jääskeläinen has a little vibraphone solo, and on the next short track 'Castro Brothers' he gets the lead on marimba and xylophone.
'Kärry' (Carriage) belongs to my least favourites; I'm not very fond of the funk flavour present on many tracks. 'Markus-sedän letkeämpi klezmer' (The More Easy-Going Klezmer of Uncle Markus; by the way Markus-setä was a legendary person who made radio programmes for children many decades ago) is a fast and playful track with many surprises along the way, such as a sitar/flute dialogue. 'Bordeaux' brings some old-fashioned continental elegance, featuring Markus Luomala on accordion.
'Hopeinen kyy' (Silver Viper; a wordplay on 'Hopeinen kuu', a classic Finnish schlager of Italian origin) is again fast, almost frenzy. A wonderful flute part, perhaps a nod to Ian Anderson? 'Sull on mies joka planeetalla' (You Have a Man on Every Planet) is the only vocal-song, let's say it's a hilarious, swinging rock'n'roll retro-schlager. 'Tuonelan lautturi' (The Ferryman of ... well, Tuonela is the land of death in Kalevala) is yet another funky track with the baritone sax taking lead, but it has also a spooky synth.
Time will tell how this music will taste after becoming more familiar. Either one learns to appreciate all its details even more, or the happiness so strongly present on the first listening will lose some of its spark. Anyway, if you're looking for Zappa-influenced upbeat jazz-rock, check this one out immediately!
Matti P.

Imagine if Frank Zappa got a hold of a big band and produced a bizarre combination of traditional jazz and progressive rock. This album would probably sound pretty similar to that. Strange, yet groovy and rockin' stuff. I'm not sure where I found this, probably Chris Dinsmore's collection?
Dillon Ethier

Disfruten señores, esto es el blog cabezón para todo el mundo.

1 comentario:

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Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).


Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).