Global music influences radiate and even collide on guitarist Jani Malmi's recording. The Finnish backbone of the music appears often in the form of overtone-trimmed phrases which are rhytmically reminiscent of older Finnish dancing music - "rillumarei" and "humppa" - but the choice of tone is ofcourse more unusual and more interesting. Often the listener's thoughts are lead into those domains where a cinematographical analogy would be the works of Aki Kaurismäki.
Playing together of the trio is, as expected, excellent because the recording's figures, beside the guitarist, are the drummer Markku Ounaskari and the basist Lasse Lindgren.
Jani Malmi is a sound-maker with a nuanced and stylish guitar sound. Indian influences, or perhaps quasi-influences but stylish ones, are e.g. in My Belly. In it Malmi plays with a sitar-like sound and micro-intervals against Ounaskari's tabla impressions with tom-tom drums, though the framework, despite all the ingredients, is western with harmonies and counterpoint. But it's still easy to start moving one's head in Vishnu style.
Both rhytmically and in melodies one goes through many moods. Most often there is a clear pulse-rythm, but rubato and half-rubato parts appear also. Monica has americana all over it, remining Jim Campilango quite a bit in the beginning, before Malmi presents much more keyed-up sounds under Ounaskari's & Lindgren's growing and grabbing comp.
A magical moment appears in Tuliliemi, where it seems that Malmi suggests a lower tempo with his guitar's vibrato - and Ounaskari picks it up directly.
The eleven compositions on the recording, with one exception, are Malmi's own. The exception is the traditional Juokse sinä humma (Run my horse) which here becomes rather more a heavy and trudgy trot than a gallop.
After a bit more than 30 minutes of mostly electric music, Malmi ends the recording with the beautiful sound of an acoustic guitar - which is finely recorded (like all on Strambulisma) by Markku Veijonsuo (who's also a trombonist in UMO). The hypnotic Zlekrem, which ends the recording with more sitar-guitar and oriental mysticism, makes the listener to long for more.
-Jan-Erik Holmberg (Hufvudstadsbladet 2008-10-22)
Translation and errors -;) by Hannu Lehmusvuori