Following on last year’s Trarat, Finnish experimental luminary Jan Anderzén returns with a more ambitious take for the Alter imprint. The record blends his past and future to great effect, nabbing some of the roughed-up plucks from his days with Kemialliset Ystävät and working them into the fabric of his slinking, mechanized dreamscapes. Kevätjuhla is certainly one of the most realized works that Anderzén has put together and while it may sound slightly rickety on the surface, walking a few steps back to appreciate the album as a whole pulls it together like a gorgeous patchwork quilt of sounds.
The dreamlike quality to the album can’t be overstated. It’s disorienting in the best way – Willy Wonka fever dreams letterpressed in full color. Sounds materialize, fade and flutter before being supplanted by new aural delights. Beats jerk along with Rube Goldberg rhythms, knocking one sound into another with strangely whimsical precision. There’s a pop aspect to the album, despite its experimental bent, but it’s less playlist fodder and more hummable commercial snippets fed through a fax machine on the blink. Anderzén knows how to entertain and bemuse in equal measure and here he’s letting his visual art background lead the way in Kevätjuhla’s creation.
In fact the album was meant to accompany the artist’s installation work. The meaning behind the piece was “inspired by the multitudes of mold and the microbial life, and served as a listening station that sought a bond between sound, the earth and organic matter. Sound was sent to speakers through cables sprouting like stems from a pile of dirt with a single coleus growing on top.” While the first thoughts that come to mind might not be microbial life, it’s easy to imagine how a backdrop so alien and yet so common could have led to the record’s pulsating core. If you’ve nodded off from the Finnish scene since psychedelic folk faded to the horizon, this should be the release to bring you back to the fold.
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