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Nemesis - Living Statues CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars Having started already in 1987, NEMESIS are probably the longest running of Finnish electronic acts, still active to our days. The electronic scene in my country has never been very widely known or dealt in music magazines; I think I first heard of Nemesis roughly 8-10 years ago from the Finnish radio series Avaruusromua (=Cosmic debris) specializing in that kind of marginal music. The synth-focused trio consisting of Ami Hassinen (who's also played in space rock band Moonwagon), Jyrki Kastman and Joni Virtanen was finally added here last year, I suppose, and this is the very first review for them.

Living Statues has an interesting background as an album project. The music was inspired by the life and art of an "outsider artist" (related terms: DIY art, naivism) Veijo Rönkkönen, whose human figures -- one seen on the album cover and many more on the leaflets -- are crowding Parikkala Sculpture Park. Parikkala is located in South-East Finland near the Russian border, I haven't been there myself. When Nemesis were invited to play a concert in the park, they were deeply impressed by the place. "...the overwhelming totality of his vision, when viewed in the right environment where and for which it was created. The place is as close as you can get to a 'secret garden' in Finland", Hassinen says in the liner notes. "We decided to produce a proper studio album on the theme, based on the material we played at the concert. (---) Veijo's art is often portrayed as carnevalistic and fun, but I felt it also has melancholy and tragic elements (---). That perhaps explains why we ended up making more meditative and mystical music that one would expect to be generally associated with outsider art."

Hassinen's words are a good guide to the nature of the album, which of course can be taken also as pure music without any knowledge on the concept. Nemesis were originally influenced by e.g. Tangerine Dream and the European electronic music scene of the 80's in general, but especially on this album their music is rather meditative Electronic Ambient. Related artists include ROBERT RICH, STEVE ROACH, Mergener/Weisser, etc, and Nemesis doesn't pale in comparison at all. The eight tracks vary between 3 - 10 minutes in length, except the title track of near 16 minutes. That's one of the highlights in its hypnotic aura. Several tracks are more delicate and intimate, featuring hurriless, zen-like notes and minimum amount of distinctive rhythms. 'Airborne' (9:39) is slightly more intensive in tempo and soundscape, somewhere between KLAUS SCHULZE and SOFTWARE. 'Nightmare' is expectedly among the darkest pieces here, fitting well under the term Dark Ambient.

Nemesis is worth checking out to all listeners of Electronic/Ambient music, and Living Statues serves as a good starting point. A beautiful, introspective, well produced 59-minute album to accompany the listener's inner visions.

Matti | 4/5 |


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