Friday, July 3, 2009

Review of 'Mushroom Heart' from Gerald Van Waes's

Joonatan Elokuu : Mushroom Heart (FIN,2009)****

I received this privately released cdr of 100 copy limited edition only, which its small amount of copies is a bit a shame. This reminds me a bit of early The Owl Service, which deserved also wider recognition, and luckily their release was taken up by Leaf records afterwards, I hope the same will happen with this one.

The tracks have just a few returning harmonic drones, a trippy harmonic bass drone (with breathy wind effects or accordion or textured organ and peddling water sounds,..) starting and ending the compilation, like breathing in and out, with some picked and electric improvisations with psychedelic effect, the acoustic picking songs that lead the tracks are mostly in the British folk tradition (from old flavours to new territories). The first song, “Adieu to old Finland” is based upon the British traditional, first sung solo by Helena Halla, then with second voice by Joonatan. Most songs are kept relatively in its basic expression, with subtle arrangements of acoustic guitars, melancholic accordion and voice, while when with (the sweet second voice) Helena Halla and the beautiful textures it sounds even more complete. Beautifully different, also in use of language, sounds “Purjehduslaulu”, the only Finnish song sounding very close, in singing, language and accompanying style, to the acoustic, Welsh band Pererin at its best. Also included is a rather English tradition styled “The Little White Road” by Donovan. “The Calling of Crows beckons us home” is a bit bluesier, just with two acoustic picking guitars. “As Far as Gilead” from C.O.B. is stretched to an 11 minute song, slowly and moodily, but arranged with the necessary elements, and a beautiful outro. A beautiful album.

Info & audio :

link to review: