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Siniaalto - Kuolema CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.00 | 1 ratings

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3 stars SINIAALTO (= Blue Wave) is a Finnish electronic trio who uses vintage equipment and draws influence from the Berlin school, ie. Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, etc. Their homepage promises a new album to be released soon - finally, as this one from 2007 is the latest release. The titles here hint at a conceptual approach; Kuolema means Death, and the five tracks could be translated as 1) Journey to the Zone, 2) On the Brink of Madness, 3) Rest Pulse, 4) Panic, 5) Buried in the Water. Sounds very sinister, but the music itself is not necessarily THAT threatening, not all the time at least. However the term Dark Ambient fits equally well.

The journey starts with a pulsative soundscape in a Tangerine Dream reminding manner, though definitely not to the point of being a complete soundalike. Anyway TD is the best reference that comes to my mind, perhaps albums such as Phaedra or Sorcerer. The opener's melancholic final section consists mostly of distorted and shaky electric-piano notes. The next track has a low repetitive pattern on the bottom, ghostly wails of nearly human-sounding synths that are to be replaced with those Rhodes notes and later more threateningly sharp "knife stabs", so to speak (one association is a certain brief section of 'The Fall of the House of Usher' in The Alan Parsons Project debut). The mood is dark, and the 12 minutes do get a bit tiring in such airless and deep waters.

Also the third track lasts nearly 13 minutes (the two last tracks get a little shorter, but on the other hand, compared to Klaus Schulze's average lengths these all are pretty short!!). The "pulse" may be of the rest state, but some sense of thread is built along the way. This is an interestingly ambivalent part as it offers some kind of slightly calmer and lighter interlude but still not without the darkness. The "Panic" section starts actually in a delicate manner with a soft Rhodes doodling comparable to the intro of PINK FLOYD's 'Sheep'. The multilayered synth carpet for the rest of the track has the inevitable reminescence of Tangerine Dream. I feel uncomfortable to constantly make that comparison. The sounds are not as fascinating and many-sided as TD at their best. The friendlier way to put it would be that Siniaalto have a more or less identifiable own sound.

On the long run the sound pallette is kept rather similar more than is good to the whole, as well as the mood. Nevertheless this is surely worth checking for the dedicated listeners of the genre, though I don't think it would become a favourite album of anyone.

Matti | 3/5 |


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