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Aktuala - Aktuala CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.87 | 31 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The album opener is named perfectly as "When The Light Began"; a peaceful and mysterious mantra arises slowly from the void, revealing an aural landscape habitated by exotic birds. In this grove we can listen to the beautiful acoustic guitar driven music, upon which tenor instruments perform pleasant solos. In addition of guitar there are two musicians focusing to percussion, along with some winds, harmonica, and string instruments. The overall feeling is very Near East oriented, and one can nearly see a water pipe's smoke trail being rising from the focal point of the spinning vinyl and turntable's stylus. There are few different themes in this song, and this kind of music works pleasantly as casual ambient music or subject for more severe meditating. "Mammoth R.C." gets its influence in my understanding from Japanese musical heritage, starting with a haunting flute, which makes then space for solitary bass drums. After the solemn rhythms some kind of chaotic dragon dance begins, which then returns to the slowly pulsing rhythms of the drums. "Altamira" starts also with ethereal soundscapes, and the melodies of the winds have a slow and delicate dialogs over it, here feeling returning to the sounds of Islamic world. "Sarah' Ngwega" continues the wind driven feeling, but contains sadly also a fade-out ending, and isn't even otherwise the most memorable of these tracks. "Alef's Dance" has a strong rhythm, with flutes soloing in an exotic oriental scale. Guitars also play an interesting melody, joined by a string instrument and flutes as the rhythm takes a turn to different direction. In the end the instruments disappear to the void in different paces, creating an unigue fadeout solution. The last tune "Dejanira" is very mellow and slow, driven by pretty acoustic guitar, and accordion and saxophone soloing over the strong blasts of wind and delicate percussions, being very calming and stimulating similarly.

The album covers are funny in their old beatnik style, but the screaming colors and simple forms don't really describe the music's tenderness and interesting fractal world with myriad details. I would recommend this to the fans of non-European ethnic music, and to those who like analog ambient music. Also friends of Jade Warrior should listen this record trough at least once.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 4/5 |


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