Catalogue : Fonal / FR-69LP
Format : LP
Condition : New
Country : Finland
Released : 2010
Genre : Experimental

When I first heard about Finland's Kemialliset Ystävät-- the project of artist Jan Anderzén, who sometimes records with others and sometimes records solo-- the music was described as "folk." Since I didn't have a good idea of what Finnish folk would sound like and knew nothing about the Fonal label, I came to Kemialliset Ystävät expecting to hear acoustic guitars and maybe some vocal harmonies with perhaps the addition of a few stringed instruments native to the region. What I got instead was a dense tapestry of electro-acoustic sound, any individual aspect of which was difficult to source. There were samples and whirring electronics and weirdly tuned guitars and synthesizers and clomping percussion and processed vocals, all kind of swirled together into this woozy, colorful, undifferentiated jumble. But as impenetrable as the music was, it wasn't completely abstract, and there were melodies and careful arrangements popping out of the din that became more apparent the more closely I listened. After a while, the word "folk" began to seem just right: This had the feel of a music handed down through generations and re-created with the materials on hand. It's just that the materials on hand included things with circuit boards that you plugged into the wall.
By Mark Richardson - Pitchfork
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