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Verde (Mika Rintala)


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Verde (Mika Rintala) Otto album cover
4.00 | 1 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kryssata (7:11)
2. Kruununmöljä (3:27)
3. Spriitanko (5:28)
4. Takilas (4:10)
5. Klyyvari (6:52)
6. Hunsvotti (6:58)
7. Vantti (4:17)
8. Knaapi (2:23)
9. Luuvartti (15:16)
10. Hiivata (7:06)
11. Liikki (5:35)

Total Time 68:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Mika Rintala / electronic devices, misc. instruments
- Otto Donner / grand piano, trumpet
- Rauno Nieminen / kantele?
- Esa Santonen / ?
- Janne Tuomi / ?
- Tapani Varis / bass, guitar?
- Jyrki Laiho / ?
- Seppo Istukaissaari / ?

Releases information

CD: Verdeaudio VERDE-015.
All tracks edited from group improvisations recorded between 2010-2013.

Thanks to Matti for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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VERDE (MIKA RINTALA) Otto ratings distribution

(1 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(100%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
4 stars Verde is the artist name of Mika Rintala, Finnish musician and instrument-maker who lives in the same town as I do (and now I've met him for the first time, as he brought some Verde CD's to the library I work in). Otto, his latest album, is noteworthy especially for the fact that it's among the very last recordings in which Henrik Otto Donner (1939 - 2013) participated in. Donner was a respected jazz musician, composer, producer and one of the three founders of the legendary record company Love Records - the homebase of Wigwam, Tasavallan Presidentti, Pekka Pohjola and numerous other prog acts. The collaboration between Rintala and Donner begun in 2002. [The information is taken from the Finnish-language liner notes.] Seven years later Rintala saw a Steinway grand piano in Donner's home and thought it must be featured in Verde music.

That idea resulted in recording sessions in which the two, and six other musicians, made music completely from an improvisational basis. Unfortunately the instruments are not listed in the CD covers, but I understand it wasn't regarded important in the first place. "In advance, there was no schedule of what to play. Everyone was free to use whichever instrument present. Most often Otto was on his grand piano, occasionally he also sang and blew his horns. Everything is improvised and played just once. Especially Otto was fond of this method. The music was recorded on eight tracks and later mixed in my studio. This album is compiled from the first three sessions, and these I had time to listen to together with Otto."

My review concentrates on facts and objective approach. Perhaps I should reveal that I have never really "got into" the highly experimental, krautrock-ish music of Verde, having listened to just two or three albums before this one. Nor am I any fan of "abstract" music in general, or music that sounds like so called concrete music. So, personally I probably won't be much listening to this album in the future, even if I have quite positive thoughts on it. My good rating is for the firm belief that this is more listenable and variable than other Verde albums, and for the sincere feeling of true musicianship. The package itself is also pleasant.

'Kryssata' (several track titles are made-up words, not proper Finnish) features sound effects (sea, seagulls, probably sounds of sailing the boat seen on the cover?), sparse piano chords, free-form percussion, electronics and other instruments. On the shorter second track one can hear e.g. some trumpet at first, and soon the repetitive, ghostly synth/percussion pattern forms the spine of the piece. No. 3 features low cello strokes and a lot of cymbals, among other elements. On 'Takilas' especially bass, guitar, piano and hi-hat create a moody, hypnotic atmosphere. There's some faint human voice too at one point. On the next track the voice is more audible and can be described as shamanistic. Also the use of percussion, flute (bamboo?) and other strange-sounding instruments bring an Ethnic feel to the music.

The electro-acoustic improvised music on this album is rather minimalistic, experimental, non-melodic, repetitive and, gratefully, not very loud or in-your-face. In fact, occasionally it gets quite introspective. One could imagine it used on an exhibition of abstract art. What's most important, there are notable differences between the tracks. Rintala has done a good job in the editing and mixing. The track lengths vary a lot, and they are not extended just for the length's sake. 'Luuvartti' lasts for 15 minutes but it's also the most spacey one, and closer to 'normal' improvized chamber jazz, as the piano and double bass are in the lead roles. 'Hiivata' is also closer to jazz than avant-garde or concrete music. I recommend this album for those who are interested in improvised, experimental music and who favour ECM-like sparseness over fiery edginess.

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