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Komatsu - Komatsu CD (album) cover

KOMATSU

Komatsu

 

Post Rock/Math rock

4.00 | 1 ratings

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Matti
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the sole release by the Finnish instrumental post-rock duo of Juha-Pekka Linna (guitars) and Jussi Miettola (drums). Komatsu is a brand of earth-moving vehicles, right? There's one drawn in the leaflet too, and the messy b/w cover includes tiny texts that inform the picture to be a dia of 150 miles width, 200 miles from Tokyo, South of Kuril Islands, 9 April 1984. Nuclear bomb experiments, I presume. Both guys have played in a band called KIRLIAN CROSSING (some sort of alternative vocal rock, not in PA), and the guitarist also in VELJENI VALAS (Krautrock/Fusion, included in PA).

Apart from the inside of the one-fold leaflet which has basic information and a cartoon-like b/w drawing of a girl pointing at a hole in the ground, the visual outlooks are extremely minimal and bleak. This is a common trend in Finnish alternative popular music, as if the artists were competing who makes the least commercial and most boring cover.

'Intro' sets the mood which is rather gloomy and edgy. Miettola's hectic percussion style avoids steady beat, and Linna's electric guitar avoids clear melodies. The tracks follow each other seamlessly, and most of them have neutral, "empty" names. 'First' is the longest track (6:13), and the way it builds intensity is respectably brave, as there's not much for the listener to take hold of. 'Second' is closer to ambient; it could almost be BRIAN ENO. It's interesting how many kinds of sounds Linna can make with his guitar, including synth-like tapestry.

'Nothing for Money' is the only track title with "real" contents. Here the playing makes me think of melancholic, modern Scandinavian jazz in the producer Manfred Eicher's ECM label. Didn't I write so about Veljeni Valas too? Anyway, that's certainly a positive thing from me. It's harder to find pleasure, not to speak emotion, from track no. 5 ('Third'). The low mourning sound is peculiar. The rhythm is steadier in this track than on the album generally. 'Fourth Pt. 1' is very creepy and minimalistic ambience; would suit to a scene in a horror movie where someone is walking in a mysterious place... 'Pt. 2' is an outburst of intensive sound wall.

'Last' is a strangely beautiful closer, free of percussion and containing bright but ghostly sounds (I think of 'Ferret & the Featherbird' in Peter Hammill's In Camera, 1974). This is certainly not an easy album to digest, but it's very unique and - how to say it - sincere in its hidden messages and moods.

Matti | 4/5 |

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