Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kalle Kalima & K-18's "Some Kubricks of Blood"

From Finland comes this unlikely gem, an album of instrumental pieces that fuse jazz improvisation with underground rock and modern classical atmospherics, inspired by various locations in the films of Stanley Kubrick. In his program notes, guitarist Kalle Kalima refers to the director’s “strong message against the use of violence” and how he was affected by hearing composer Gyorgi Ligeti’s microtonal music behind the psychedelic visuals in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kalima’s drumless group (“K-18” is the Finnish equivalent of a U.S. “X” rating) includes a quarter-tone accordion that supplies ear-bending dissonance alongside guitar, saxophone, and bass. This electric chamber music sounds like what might have resulted if avant-godfather John Zorn recorded for German producer Manfred Eicher, whose recordings are famous for their moody soundscapes.

The compositions, with titles that allude to potent cultural signifiers like The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, and Full Metal Jacket, create moods that range from opaque beauty to sinister menace. In “Overlook Bar,” Kalima plays a three-minute backward-echoed guitar solo without once stirring the ghost of Hendrix. “Korova Milkbar” starts out as a somber dirge, then winds its way through an off-kilter Eastern European folk dance, a muted duet between bass and atonal slide guitar, lumbering heavy rock, and free-form high-energy freak out. “Parris Island” similarly progresses through several sections in a way that recalls Zorn’s “movie music” and Dave Douglas’ Tiny Bell Trio. This is some powerful, evocative stuff. Copy via


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to read some appreciations of this raucous gem. If you have time, try and check out fellow Finn Jarmo Saari's first solo album - called Solu. More classic anarchy of an aural kind.

10:55 AM  
Blogger TonyS said...

And then there's Kalima's work with Johnny la Marama. Listen on.

11:07 AM  

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