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Kauhukakara - Taistelu Pahoja Kelloja Vastaan CD (album) cover





3.58 | 10 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Kauhukakara is a sophisticated orchestra performing experimental art music, borne form large array of different elements. Classical chamber music seems most dominant with modern jazz, these being blended with some traditional and medieval leanings, hints of old movie music and avant-gardist soundscapes. Cello, saxophone, piano, bass and singing build the strongest part of the group's musical body, this being supported by percussions and several acoustic instruments. The singing is mostly vocable music lines supporting both melodic and rhythmic constructions of the lovely jazz-flavored quartet.

The album is circled around a short "Kauhukakara theme", giving a fun association of children's television program with a start and ending music. This impression is strengthened by tracks like "Intermission", and the logical flow of songs and moods streaming from toboggan slide sessions to the evening's snowdrift blankets, towards more scary horror movie themes and concluding to autumn's freezes and cheerful pikes trying to avoid the baits during fall's fishing season. The title of the album could be translated as "Battle Against Evil Clocks", and lyrics of this second song open this statement as an objection towards scheduled hurries of our industrial "welfare" culture. This song has also some rap lines concerning this subject, mingling with dense layer of percussions, and uniting modern pop culture flavors to the vivid musical palette of this fabulous group. Excluding the more frightful "Keskiajan kauhuelokuva" (Medieval Horror Movie) and sorrowful "Perhonen syyspakkasessa" (Butterfly in Autumn's Frost) the overall feeling of this album is very tender and playful. Therefore I wonder how young children would like this music; Maybe omitting by CD player programming these mentioned two tracks this album could work as nice music for playing or drawing with kids. For grownups there are interesting arrangements and intelligent music found, allowing relief from the troubling treadmills of general adulthood life.

Though playfulness and naivism are characteristics for this music, it is however evident that the musicians are very talented and have academic musical education. Most of the songs consist only from few composed themes, which often possess quite complex rhythms, long melodic lines and peculiar arrangements. The compositions often repeat such themes with slight variations, and the music sounds accessible when the ears are open to the basic sound pulsed by the heart of this lovely "Enfant Terrible". As there are no drums, the rhythm is mostly driven by melodic instruments, excluding some moments bombarded with percussions, handclaps and vintage synthesizer beats. Acoustic-oriented quartet offers the musicians a possibility to stretch out towards larger sonic territories with their instruments, talent and imagination. The musical precision is accompanied with total relaxation for playing (in all meanings of the word), and the band's concept is underlined with beautiful album artwork and costumes, which are also part of the live performances. I was privileged to see them perform at a lovely hippie park festival here in Finland, and got very happy of that occasion and gained awareness of this cheerful music.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 4/5 |


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