Psychedelic music born of cabin fever. Weird pastel electronica. Bizarre cut-and-paste loops. Hazy, mist-clad experimentalism. Eternal drone theatrics. The music of Finland’s PAAVOHARJU, now preparing for the release of their third album, is difficult to pin down. The Wire dubbed the music as “home-taped experimentation married to pop ecstasy,” and the albums Yhä hämärää (2006) and Laulu laakson kukista (2008) found the band worldwide cult fame in the indie scene.
October 18th sees the release of PAAVOHARJU‘s third album, titled Joko sinä tulet tänne alas tai minä nousen sinne, on SVART RECORDS. Main composer Lauri Ainala’s penchant for progress and experimentation found him at a point where it was necessary for PAAVOHARJU to renew itself. The major stylistic change on the new album is the inclusion of hip-hop elements, with rap vocals performed by Paperi T (also of the Helsinki hip-hop group Ruger Hauer), but the handling of these influences is unconventional. PAAVOHARJU‘s brand of hip-hop is far removed from its roots, taken off the streets and thrown into the nocturnal forests of Finland.
Familiar building blocks from PAAVOHARJU‘s previous work, such as the array of female voices and troubadour Joose Keskitalo, are still there, but they are distant, often drowned in swathes of electronic haze, sometimes just barely audible as if a faded memory of something that once was. The major theme on Joko sinä tulet tänne alas tai minä nousen sinne is alienation – how things familiar turn into things distant and strange. Speaking of the album, Ainala compares it to an old family homestead to which one returns after decades and in whose decayed state there is both horror and beauty.
The first public evidence of all this is the brand-new video “Patsaatkin kuolevat,” which can be viewed in its entirety here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Tracklisting for PAAVOHARJU’s Joko sinä tulet tänne alas tai minä nousen sinne
1. Metsän hämärä
2. Patsaatkin kuolevat
4. Sä olit
6. Kuolon uni
7. Tattarisuo 1931
9. Valkeat majat
10. Olet maailman syli
11. Minä nousen sinne
12. Kolmas voima