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Juudas Iskariotin Suudelma - Novaja Zemlja CD (album) cover

NOVAJA ZEMLJA

Juudas Iskariotin Suudelma

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 2 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I first heard this group's music at The Night of The Arts festival of year 2012 in Helsinki. The band played their set with slightly smaller line-up than on this record at an old wooden windjammer, and I enjoyed their fusion of vivid flute & accordion melodies and hypnotic guitar riffs. I felt this mixture was matured with sincere punk attitude, and reaching towards global ethnic charms and spacy stoner rock tunnel visions. This album was released bit later on the same year's December, and preserved the same qualities of the concert, though enriched with soprano saxophone and violin enforcements, and thus deepening further the acoustic sides on this music of personal style mosaic.

The song names associate with distant locations beyond vast mountain ranges of Ural, an arctic archipelago from Russia where once some bomb slightly exploded, and also refer few comic characters like romantic seafaring adventurers and antiheroic sorcerers. The compositions are basically quite simple from structure, residing on dramatics of more carefully composed themes and looser sequences for musician's free interplay. All of the tracks are good in quality, escaping the mediocrities of filler tracks. Moods oscillate pleasantly between sinister and joyful tunes, holding still to a recognizable overall sound, and forming a convincing musical unity. One of my own favorites on the album is the second track "Vlad"; the joyful flute dancing around poles decorated with some Saxon settlers and Ottoman soldiers. "Aino" is also a delightful appraisal to ancient summer pastures, maybe having some lovely peasants dancing there with their folk costumes. The more laidback feeling of these tracks seem to culminate on song "Aziru", painting an interesting portrait of a legendary Canaanite ruler from 14th century Lebanon. Other songs with hastier tempo fit also to may musical appreciation on the album context, and closer "Corto Maltese" ventures further in the group's musical core both on duration and metaphysical level, allowing some glimpses to the reality from recording studios behind the curtains of "Novaja Zemlja"'s sonic fantasy.

Later in summer of 2013 I saw the group again at Faces festival of Gumnäs, having then even yet larger presence of supportive musicians. I exchanged few words with Tuomas and Antti, and understood that during the time between album recordings and concerts of that summer, there had been some search on establishing the band's line-up. My own impression was that this larger group of musicians with more acoustic supportive players made the music even yet better. Also the past gigs and potential rehearsals had certainly increased the performance dynamics and details in sound textures, still not losing the original base goals of the group. I hope the musicians will find most comfortable solutions to the personnel questions from their own perspective, and have faith whatever their straits will be, the band has potential to offer even more for the audiences in the future than this fine album and nice concerts from the past few years. If You should have withdrawal symptoms from Dasputnik's current pause, or you are open to multi-cultural polka stretching the sonic elements of Third Ear Band to space rock & punk territories, this album released by Art Safari cooperative is very recommendable. Also if Your bearings should locate to faraway arctic peninsula, don't hesitate to visit their concerts if given a chance.

Eetu Pellonpää | 4/5 |

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