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Alamaailman Vasarat - Kinaporin Kalifaatti (with Tuomari Nurmio) CD (album) cover

KINAPORIN KALIFAATTI (WITH TUOMARI NURMIO)

Alamaailman Vasarat

RIO/Avant-Prog


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progmonster
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Yeah, it's not fair to give two stars to such a great band, but hey, what they did here on "Kinaporin Kalifaatti" does not concern the progressive community (for what i think it is). Pairing with folk singer Tuomari Nurmio, you will hardly find on this new album the amazing collison of genre that Alamaailman Vasart was know for. This is almost straight rock with flavours of local folklore with a bit of klezmer thrown in the mix. The musicianship is still pristine but would definitely satisfies more people into Tom Waits or Nick Cave...

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Send comments to progmonster (BETA) | Report this review (#43045)
Posted Tuesday, August 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My positive review should be seen as a viewpoint of a Finn, and I'm not surprised if this release would be a disappointment for a non-Finnish listener. I adored on this collaboration how Tuomari Nurmio's presence tamed the vigorous approach of Alamaailman Vasarat to more tamer and moody art rock impressionis, as I did not like their own typical way of humoristic aggression from previous records or concert encounters. All of them are skillful musicians certainly, so this is an evident case of personal musical taste preferences. Many albums of Tuomari Nurmio are too basic pop music for me to enjoy, excluding his rootsy debut and few experimental later recordings, this synthesis creating something fine from between these constrasting worlds. "Arabian Kuu" (Arabian Moon) criticizes bitterly the American foreign policy practiced in the Middle-East, and the song themes move lyrically much in the Piritori-hoods of Kallio district. The band concept lingers near the King Crimson's double trio setup, but emphasizing more acoustic leanings. Moody art music from the alleys of unpolished truths.

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Send comments to Eetu Pellonpää (BETA) | Report this review (#44209)
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
Jimbo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3,5 stars!

Alamaailman Vasarat are back, this time collaborating with Finnish folk-singer Tuomari Nurmio. AV's first two albums were certainly quite wild and innovative, but (un)fortunately ? Tuomari Nurmio's influence has tamed their sound somewhat. I don't mind really, because I still maintain that this is more of a Tuomari Nurmio solo album than anything else. All the compositions are his, they've just been adapted to fit the crazy style of AV.

You will still hear many of the same elements that made AV so fun, but the atmosphere is certainly more upbeat and you won't hear any fiersome cello attacks on this one. Nurmio has certainly added his own touch to the album, as the music is much folkier with even traces of bluegrass and polka, without forgetting AV's touch of klezmer and jazz music. Nurmio's vocals are quite rough, and original, but not to everyone's liking.

The album's focus is probably too much on Tuomari Nurmio's vocals for the average proghead, so I do understand if the non-finnish speaking audience will find this a tad disappointing. I personally find Kinaporin Kalifaatti inventive, refreshing and definitely very enjoyable.

Fans of Alamaailman Vasarat should be able to enjoy this, but I agree with progmonster's assessment that this is more likely to please a Tom Waits fan than the average proghead. Four stars if this wasn't a prog-site.

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Send comments to Jimbo (BETA) | Report this review (#63257)
Posted Thursday, January 05, 2006 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars Third album from those crazy Finns, but this time with singer Tuomari Nurinio. Not that the music has changed that outside of the fact that the music has many vocal parts, but this interesting collaboration will hopefully remain just an anecdote in AV's career. Because one thing that does change with the appearance of vocals is the lesser role of instrumental interplay and much of the madness of their previous album. We are again hovering on eastern European jazz/gypsy influences as their previous two albums had before, but the vocals bring a more music-hall feel and I cannot help but thinking of Belgian gritty-voiced singer Arno doing his French-type of Chanson Française with the same kind of orchestration (but the musicians are clearly not as good as AV, though). So in this album, AV does more "songs" rather tracks, pieces or numbers.

However, if the Cd did not appeal to me much, I must admit that the DVD of 5 tracks was much more fun. Not that the music played on the DVD differs from the one played in the Cd, but getting an occasion to see the music played before your very eyes is quite beneficial to the enjoyment of the music. Actually this short DVD saves the album from boredom.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#97970)
Posted Friday, November 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Alamaailman Vasarat: Kinaporin Kalifaatti [2005]

Rating: 4/10

Kinaporin Kalifaatti is an unusual piece of Alamaailman Vasarat's discography. AV are known for playing super-charged klezmer with strong metal and jazz influences. On this album, however, the band eschews this style in favor of an experimental-rock style that's hard to precisely pinpoint. The most apparent stylistic diversion here is the fact that the music is no longer instrumental; vocalist Tuomari Nurmio has been added into the mix. This man's voice has a gruff timbre that reminds me of a Finnish Tom Waits. His vocals carry the majority of these tracks, with AV's zany instrumentation acting more as a back-up than a driving musical force. Needless to say, this a radical departure from AV's other material. Normally, I would consider this to be a good thing; I am always in favor of artists expanding and updating their musical horizons. However, the music presented on Kinaporin Kalifaatti fails, particularly in comparison to the band's other albums. These tracks blend into one other, turning the album into a mishmash of jazzy ethnic rock.

The opener "Kolmannen Linjan Mona Lisa" is one of the stronger tracks on the album. The brass creates a pulsating bass presence, and the vocals are memorable. "Ripystynyt Profeetta" is an uninteresting organ-driven slow rock song. As the title suggests, "Arabian Kuu" features some cool Middle-Eastern sounds. It's nothing special otherwise. "Karavaani Kulkee" has a decent chorus, but this doesn't help me shake the album's overwhelming feeling of sameness. The infectious fast pace of "Kuvernoorin Tytar" makes it a minor success. "Paaton Venus" is virtually indistinguishable from many other tracks here. "Riivattu" is a highlight. The twanging acoustic guitar and deep brass create an interesting contrast. "Laulu no. 101" would be dull were it not for the strong cello playing and the neat organ solo. The main motif of "Lemmen Jumalatar" is quite catchy, but this isn't enough to make the track particularly excellent. The same thing can be said of "Hoyhensarjan Maailmanmestari." The wonderful main theme of "Paavi Roskapankissa", however, allows the album to end on a high note.

It hurts to give such a low rating to such an excellent band, but it's almost hard to believe that this is the same band that made great albums like Kaarmelautakunta and Maahan. Everything that AV does right is conspicuously absent here; everything is toned down to compensate for the vocally-driven sound. However, I will admit the possibly that a language barrier could be a factor in my rating. If Tuomari Nurmio is as much like Tom Waits as his voice makes him sound, it is a distinct possibly that his music is lyrically-driven. Unfortunately, the Finnish tongue is absolutely lost on this American reviewer. Still, even on the off-chance that this album is indeed lyrically fascinating, good lyrics are not enough to carry a music album. I applaud AV for trying something new, but Kinaporin Kalifaatti is a boring record that I am simply unable to get excited about. This is a divergence from AV's normal sound, but it is a black sheep rather than a shining star.

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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#550494)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2011 | Review Permalink

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