Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Utopianisti - Tango Solo CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.88 | 6 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
4 stars The adventurous Finnish musical explorer Markus Pajakkala is back with another exciting chapter of the life of his project UTOPIANISTI four years after the curve ball avant-garde metal meets noise experiment "Brutopianisti" sent shock waves into the fans who had fallen in love with his twisted sense of jazz-fusion sensibilities on his first three albums. Unlike the first three albums, this is once again a solo effort with Pajakkala playing all the instruments on this near 37-minute collection of ten recordings.

As the title TANGO SOLO suggests this album jumps in world of the tango but of course this is UTOPIANISTI so this album is an interestingly unique mix of his classic jazz-fusion sounds which includes some Canterbury Scene flavors as well as classical piano rolls that take the world of tango into (as far as i know) hitherto unexplored terrain. With the tango as the main ethnic theme that pretty much dominates TANGO SOLO, the album is also chock full of quirky avant-prog rock time signatures with percussion rich heavy sections along with the smoothness of saxophone slides and other jazzy elements.

It wouldn't be a tango without an accordion and that one is here too but it's the unexpected moments of xylophones and other sounds that really bring this one to life. Like all of Pajakkala's oeuvres, this one is an adventurous roller coaster ride of myriad ideas laid out in the most unexpected ways but despite the eclectic nature of this wild man behind an army of instrumentation, this is indeed tango music only teased out into the avant-garde. Astor Piazzolla would be proud! Like much of the UTOPIANISTI canon, the music is quirky and playful like a long lost Zappa reel that has been sitting in the vaults for decades.

TANGO SOLO is very cartoony in its vibe as if a serious tango nuevo entourage had suddenly hooked up with Carl Stalling to produce a soundtrack to a Andalusian version of the classic Looney Tunes cartoons. The beauty of this album is that it takes the sounds of tango out of its standard one-dimensional platitude and gives it a serious makeover the UTOPIANISTI without causing harm or disrespect to the traditional sounds and mood setting nature of the Argentinian musical genre. This one is entirely instrumental and devoid of guitar sounds as far as i can decipher. This is a jazz-fusion album through and through that just happens to add the tango as the primary musical element.

One thing is clear and that is the fact that the UTOPIANISTI project is utterly unpredictable as to where it will direct itself next as i was expecting a return to the style of the first three albums. Although Pajakkala made it clear that the metal and noise experiments on "Brutopianisti" was a one time event, who would've considered a Finnish musician immersing himself into the world of the Argentinean musical art form that is the pride of an entire nation. Now we know to expect the unexpected as curve balls are the rule not the exception. Overall this is another intricately designed excellent slice of experimental music from Pajakkala that may even win the hearts of those who have never been keen on the unique musical style known as the tango.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this UTOPIANISTI review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.