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Siinai - Olympic Games CD (album) cover





3.75 | 7 ratings

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4 stars Holding hands with the mighty gods of Mount Olympus

Perhaps not too surprisingly, this album revolves around the history of the Olympic Games. Going as far back as the Greek starting point where it once started as a human apotheoses to the deistic notion of body and mind coalesced - this ongoing tale is now told through the music of a young up and coming Finnish act. Body and mind - the merging of two worlds in one human being.

We get more than the openly sporty character of these events, as this record also relegates one of the saddest and darkest moments of modern day sport history; the atrocity in Munich 1972, where the entire Israeli team was assassinated by the terrorist group Black September. The actual track here simply called Munich 1972 is all instrumental - in fact the whole record is, which to me personally fits perfectly for a realistic, albeit artistic in scope, soundtrack that deals with this mighty recurring sports event. Our own human pedestal put there to make us feel closer to the ancient gods of Mount Olympus, even if we at times show ourselves from the most cruel and evil of sides.

What struck me first was the ingenious way the synthesizers here mirror the old Olympic fanfare I grew up with. I mean this is just uncanny! I remember being a little kid - absolutely loving the distinctive feel of getting ready for this event - hearing this tiny musical ode. Yeah well tiny is perhaps the wrong wording here, because although it only lasted a few moments, it was grand and pompous like a regular royal fanfare. On Olympic Games - the synths really do relegate this trumpeteering sound - adding to the overall picture that sense of occasion - an impending cataclysmic event. They are played with a slow and economic touch, which transform and contort them into these long drawn out wails that after a while interweave with the surrounding instruments. Just this simple aspect of the album sweeps you off your feet and throws you into the Olympic feel with thousands of flickering images of Ski-jumpers, marathon runners, javelin throwers, pole vaulters and swimmers who look like old Greek statues in white - all of them amalgamating to one huge expressionistic Olympian montage.

I heard this album just now cycling my way around the countryside - through the surrounding forest where everything now reeks of natural garlic. It's in season, and whilst the woods are a mayhem of floral explosions and multifaceted greens and whites and yellows - that omnipresent smell of onion in my nose somehow perfectly suited the music. The grandiose and over the top feel I had flowing into my ears - was in a harmonious balance with the sumptuous nature around me, but still I was unable to shake off the overhanging shadow of that devastating day once so long ago in Munich - and that, in some fantastically inexplicable way, was the sharp and harsh smell of those onions in the air. A truly strange and esoteric experience all in all, and one that I struggle to find the appropriate words for.

To get back on the ground and comment on the actual sound of this recording, I think it is fair to call it a riveting hybrid of post-rock and Krautrock. The plodding pace of the guitars together with the almost shamanistic feel of the drums draws a fair few parallels with several of the post-rock biggies, but still the album is served up with those futuristic, buzzing and trumpeteering synthesizers, that it becomes something like a meeting between Mogwai and electronic modern day Kraut(dance)rock wizards F*ck Buttons. Psychedelic, freely flowing panoramic soundscapes - with an overriding urge to erupt into giant almost symphonic musical sculptures.

I've read a couple of reviews of this album online - all featured in relatively big music magazines, and they damn near all give it a mediocre to poor rating, talking about how slow, uneventful and bland they find the music. Admittedly, these guys usually review things like My Chemical Romance and Maroon 5, which should be evidential about the fact, that they don't know the first thing about music like this. My guess is, that they saw an album which concerns itself about the impending Olympic Games in London and then thought to themselves: Bugger me if that doesn't sound like a flash and cool idea!!!! And while I've had a few laughs on their account, I shudder to think that most of the mainstream music journalists have completely lost the ability to submerse themselves in records that venture beyond the normal boundaries of contemporary music. What a shame!

Guldbamsen | 4/5 |


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