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Utopianisti - Brutopianisti CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.96 | 11 ratings

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2 stars Though I've been listening to this one and playing pieces from it on my radio show since its arrival on the music scene January first, 2017, I have had a heck of a time trying to 'rate' this unEarthly experiment into uncharted musical territory. The music contained herein is a violent, Mr. Hyde-like version of Finnish genius Markus Pajakkala's UTOPIANISTI though this is mostly him playing various woodwinds and tuned percussives.

Because I have trouble assigning ratings to songs of lengths less than two minutes, only six of the thirteen songs here would have earned ratings. Because I have so little brainpower to be able to compare and then justifiably categorize the music, I have decided to refrain from ratings altogether.

I think the album genius but it definitely pushes the limits and tolerances of all music listeners.

1. "Gryul Ghul Gh!" (01:37) 2. "Gcme Zle Dt" (01:46)

3. "Blszh" (02:57) all kinds of animalistic throat-vocal noises parade within the weave of this odd song. At the 30 second mark, the song actually shifts into a milder, more spacious form with the Muppet "Animal"-like growl-speak vocalizations continuing throughout. Then, at the two minute mark there is another shift with a wind instrument taking over. Interesting.

4. "Bhmega" (03:56) opens on a very 'world music' stage--sounding like something out of a JON HASSELL performance at one of the WOMAD festivals. But then, at the 1:20 mark, the drums and other instruments (bass clarinet and synthesized flute or sax on the lead) enter and things settle into a new pattern that feels all right with the rest of the world. Nice soloing over some steady rhythm patterns.

5. "Gabsh D Mag" (01:41) growls and reverb effects used on this one make it so cool! The woodwinds and drums weave is perfect support for the Kong Island--fitting song.

6. "Zigvomd Zwgh" (01:13) the vocals on this song are the highlight as multiple styles are represented-- sometimes even together! Drums are fairly tolerable on this one.

7. "Hll" (04:04) opens with a distant repetitive horn loop while the percussionist seems to be testing out the fullness of his drum kit. After over 75 seonds of this, and the listener wondering if the drummer will ever find his way, a long sustained low synth note enters prompting the drummer to seem to at least get "on the run." The synth begins to develop and move around while the drums continue to explore. The final 30 seconds is all synth and distorted vocalizations. I'm not sure how to even assign a rating to this one! It's unEarthly!

8. "Wkh Ztads" (01:14) 9. "Zwaakh" (01:26) 10. "Zhmi Bgi D" (01:10)

11. "Bm Zi" (02:42) opens with drums and woodwind speeding along at breakneck speed. At the 25 seocond mark the bass clarinet slows down and establishes a rhythmic, looping riff over which drums and synth wreak havoc.

12. "Brmig Hgu" (03:25) more wild drumming and synth effects noises with more sedate, almost melodic bass clarinet. At 1:20 the clarinet and synths become more jaded, more industrial-sounding while the percussionist continues as before. The final thirty seconds switches to metallic percussives and proto-human vocal growls.

13. "Glf Zwag Zigvomd!" (03:45) xylophone, throat singing, and oddly treated/processed flute open this song. At the end of the second minute, drums, looping bass clarinet, and synth enter to support a upper octave treated flute solo. At 3:10 we enter the final section with bass clarinet, frenetic drumming, and crazed "Animal" vocals.

Total Time 30:56

I have to admit that the Muppets' "Animal"-like tribalistic beating of the drums along with their very plastic sounds leave me feeling a little raw and jaded, but the music is so interesting and, well, for lack of a better word, raw, that I can usually get past it. I wonder if Markus ever heard the Spanish band ZA!'s 2015 album Loloismo before making this album. There are some similarities.

Brutopianisti is genius and masterful but it is neither essential nor even excellent. This is not the kind of music you want to play for your mother or to impress your girlfriend--especially if you don't want to trigger their nervous breakdowns. It may truly be necessary to call this one "for collectors/fans only" though it pains me to do so, it is truly difficult to call it "good" because I'm not sure what it is good for. I like it, I'm fascinated by it, I smile at it, I have given it dozens of listens in order to try to understand and appreciate its genius, but in the end, I'm not sure how to recommend it to another. "Try it if you want to test what extremes you're able to tolerate" or "try it and see how long you can take it before you have to jump out a window." Good luck! If this is truly your cup of tea, then you are a weirder man than me.

BrufordFreak | 2/5 |


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