Tomutonttu

Those with a hook into the early aughts psych-folk explosion (or freak folk if you’re nasty) will recognize the name Jan Anderzén, he being at the epicenter of Finnish noise folk and the main propulsion keeping Kemialliset Ystävät aloft all these years. Anderzén has also been one to wander from that main project along several tributaries, including Avarus, The Puke Eaters (with Chris Corsano), Tuusanuuskat and noise super(ish) group Way of The Cross. His new solo excursion as Tomutonttu finds him locked into solo groove territory; jagged and stumbling, writhing and chugging through clatter-syth lines that feel broken and nervy. The music here was commissioned by a festival based out of Anderzén’s hometown of Tampere and the results have an elemental dance to them, but divorced from the concept by eons and a barrier of cultural dissonance. The album has a feeling of alienness about it, but not so much that its not of this world, just that it feels like the dance of a culture that’s future leaning, tribal and not locked into a concept of pop.

Anderzén’s writing isn’t as chaotic as his work with Kemialliset Ystävät, there’s a direction here and each track feels like its not quite as apt to fall apart at the seams. The works are blinking in sequence and finding their way along in neon plots through a murk that’s palpable and as the record wears on it seems that the focus comes clearer into view. By the close of Tarat there’s a clear propulsion of synth work that wouldn’t feel out of place on Tri Angle or Holodeck. The synth looks good on Anderzén and I hope that this commission isn’t just a lark. There’s more territory to be mined here for sure.

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