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Esa Kotilainen

Progressive Electronic

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Esa Kotilainen Ajatuslapsi album cover
3.90 | 10 ratings | 1 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Unisalissa (In A Dream Room) (17:36)
- 1.1 Muistojen Paluu (Return Of Memories)
- 1.2 Näkymä (Vision)
- 1.3 Vartija (The Guardian)
- 1.4 Avoin Ovi (The Open Door )
- 1.5 Näköala Olemattomasta Ikkunasta (View From A Non-extistant Window)
- 1.6 Tuttavani (My Acquaintances)
- 1.7 Aivan Tavallinen Peili (Just An Ordinary Mirror)
2. Avartuva Näkemys (The Mind Broadens) (11:36)
- 2.1 Tippukiviluola (The Stalactite Cave)
- 2.2 Sateet, Häikäisy (Rains, Being Dazzled)
- 2.3 Luonto (Nature)
- 2.4 Aavistus, Avaruuden Voima (A Notation Forming, The Power Of Space)
- 2.5 Saapuvat Sillat, Yhteydet (Bridges Arriving, Connections)
- 2.6 Matkaaja (The Traveller)
- 2.7 Vastaantulevat Planeetat (Approaching Planets)
- 2.8 Sumu (Fog)
3. Ilmassa (In The Air) (5:59)
- 3.1 Syventyminen (Immersion)
- 3.2 Olotila (State Of Mind)
- 3.3 Keveyden Portaat (Stairs Of Lightness)

Bonus tracks on 2008 CD release:
4. Matkaaja (The Traveller) (for The Finnish National Ballet 1978) (6:03)
5. Matkaaja (The Traveller) (echoed version 2008) (6:03)

Total time 47:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Esa Kotilainen / composer, performer (Mini-moog, ARP-2600, Vox String-thing, Fender Rhodes, Kouvola Casotto, Kantele, Hammond B3, Leslie 251 & 145, Binson Echo, MXR 90 Phase, MXR 100 Phase, Maestro Phase Shifter, Foxx Wah Wah pedal, Indian bells)

Releases information

Artwork: Kari Sipilä

LP Love Records ‎- LRLP 196 (1977, Finland)
LP Svart Records ‎- SRE069 (2016, Finland)

CD Love Records ‎- LRCD 196 (2008, Finland) Remaster by Pauli Saastamoinen w/ 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ? for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ESA KOTILAINEN Ajatuslapsi ratings distribution

(10 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ESA KOTILAINEN Ajatuslapsi reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guldbamsen
4 stars Spiritual Labyrinth

Music can be such a powerful thing. It can literally sweep you off your feet and catapult you into the most treacherous and bewildering of places, where you struggle to find heads or tales to anything. Reality suddenly looses all meaning - and meaning itself becomes something like a little red bunny speaking in Japanese with a voice like the roaring exhaust pipe of a racing red Yahama motorcycle. BRRRWWWUUOOOOWWWWNNN BRRUUOOOWWWWN - why don't you.

Take this record for instance: No matter how many times I listen to it, I fluctuate between zig zagging down to the great pyramid of Giza - roaming the endless yellow corridors of sand and whirling dust, and then swooping effortlessly up in a marvellous futuristic elevator, that kindly scoops me up like a contourless gulp of lard only to wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuiiiiiiiiiiiiiiihhh straight up in the everlasting black infinity of space. I am completely helpless of course - there's really nothing much I can do about it, but that's the thing: it feels good to feel helpless and insignificant compared to the mighty empire of surrounding entities such as nature, space and beyond. Music can, if you're lucky, demonstrate this powerful and humbling experience, which both makes you tiny and frail, but also significantly larger than yourself and your doings - pointing you towards a greater understanding of all these red lines running through our solar system - connecting dots, people, incidents, stars and matter. I feel this bond intensely whenever I listen to Ajatuslapsi.

I've been thinking about the next natural thing to write about - in this my small but invigorating Finnish review excursion, and that is to highlight a shining beacon of electronic sound, that had a huge part in both Tasavallan Presidentti and Wigwam's success. Esa Kotilainen is the man's name, and he additionally played on Jukka Tolonen's solo albums, as well as cementing himself as one of the first Finnish musicians to master the terrifying robotic scope of the moog. It's not like you can hear where this man started - that he openly transcribed his input from those early days within Wigwam and TP, no no. Instead of capitalising on efforts of past and producing a melodic jazz rock dominated affair with heaps of swirling organs, he opted for a difficult to digest, labyrinthian, obscure and introvert sound to cover his debut album in.

I'll go ahead and start my musical translation by saying that this probably isn't for everyone, but to call it avant-garde is also kind of missing the plot by a considerable amount. The first cut Unilassa should be the perfect example of this methinks. It starts things off with some harmonic swirling organ winds that in time are transformed into a tiny whispering note, that now becomes the very ground on which a synthesizer commences its melodic four noted serenade. Things turn for the electronic and move towards the early Berlin School of sound, to which I'm reminded of both Tangerine Dream's Ricochet and Schulze's tantalizing Timewind. These are however only small hints - tiny fragmented scents of Germany, for what this piece does next is beyond any sort of musical comparison. It's here you get delivered the giant pyramid of Giza in all of its splendour - shining like a glistening sand ruby. The music incorporates a few Arabian scaled notes into the proceedings - done with such an impeccable touch that it almost transforms into an electronic styled fugue from the outskirts of the Egyptian desert. You then get snippets of organ and wonderfully shimmering string electronics that sound like the reflection of a white sun in a streaming river. Ending back in the north the piece shape-shifts and gives off a distinct folk vibe with the add on of the accordion and a Finnish instrument called a Kantale. It's beautiful and disturbing all at once. It deceives you in a good and entrancing way, and I personally feel as if I could sleep for a week after this sonic maze comes to an end.

The next couple of pieces all display Esa's imaginative take on music. He deliberately seeks the difficult and loose in music, but then again it never sounds forced or 'academic'. He knows what he wants, even if the music has a way of sneaking up on him in slow multiplying masquerades. I guess you could call this sonic shadow-boxing. He opens himself up to these panoramic inclinations and then develops the musical image en route. It sure sounds like that anyways...

Another little thing which I personally think is downright brilliant, is the manner in which bird tweets are glued onto the second track. They suddenly fill up the musical space like a huge natural being - only to be replaced by black ominous synth burps plodding, fluttering - sounding like a regular robot out of Mordor. Again, it shows a musician unafraid to jump from one extreme to the other, and in doing so he actually shapes the thing that makes him stand out from a hundred late 70s electronic artists.

All of these pieces could be considered as meditations on themes, orchestrated bewilderings - loosing yourself on purpose. To launch oneself into unknown sonic pastures with but a mad Finnish synthesizer guru at the helm. I've done it several times, and I would employ you to do the same, if you indeed are looking for that ever fleeting spiritual labyrinth made up of sound and images emerging from behind your eyelids. 4.5 stars with the chance of 5 in the near future.

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