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La Yne - La Grande Illusion CD (album) cover


La Yne


Crossover Prog

4.00 | 3 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This debut album of my countryman & namesake Matti Laine's project "la YnE" - careful with those capitals! - is amazingly mature and cosmopolitan musical journey in 39 minutes. Recorded in Helsinki and released thru the French label Musea, it melts elements of multi-cultural pop/ World Music and urban electro-acoustic jazz into a very coherent and easy-going 11-track entity. One Finnish reviewer describes the music as a ride in a Parisian metro, slicing impressions of colonial history. In Laine's own words, it's "flirt between ethnic and modern". The album is dedicated to the memory of Mick Karn (JAPAN). Matti Laine doesn't list his own instruments. Pekka Laine - a brother perhaps? - plays electric guitar and sequenced loops, and the album is mixed and co-produced by him. One of the key guests is the jazz celebrity Verneri Pohjola (you know or guess his father), whose cool trumpet is heard on most tracks.

There are hardly any proper vocal songs, and yet most tracks feature human voice in one form or another, usually sampled and treated, evoking various ethnic impressions. The beat is sometimes quite strong (trip-hop?), in one case ('December 23') pure reggae even, and the soundscape is always rich of sensual and cinematic details. 'La Porte de l'Enfer' is a beautiful, beat-free slow tune with a nocturnal ambience, finished perfectly by a melancholic trumpet and a French-speaking female voice as if heard from a telephone.

Somewhere along the way I come to think of LOREENA McKENNITT's World Music flavoured art pop. 'Meiko' almost could come from Tubular Bells III, but especially with Verneri's lovely trumpet it avoids being in any debt to MIKE OLDFIELD. From Finnish, rather similar-minded artists I could pick XL and RinneRadio. There's not much "rock" in this album, but it's definitely recommended to open-minded ears with a fondness for Ethnic flavour. (Well, I'm not usually so fond of it myself, but alongside McKennitt this is easily the best music in that field that I've listened to.) Also the worldly art design suits the music very well.

Matti | 4/5 |


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