Taipuva Luotisuora - 8

8 songs
46:21 minutes
***** ***
Kaakao / Nordic Notes


Four years ago, I was mystified by the counting ways of Finnish progressive space rock band Taipuva Luotisuora, After I, II and IV, it is now time for 8. Mathematically speaking, this is a geometric progression and finally makes sense, even if they did it this time without Roman numerals.

Apart from that, not that much has changed with the quintet. They still play their trademark instrumental rock music that owes as much to progressive, space and psychedelic rock from the Seventies. Occasional use of kantele and violin are supposed to add a layer of Northern folk, but overall this is just a minor element in the band’s sonic repertoire.

8 begins with a blast. The opener Volantum Machina shows the band instantly from their crispest side. A strong beat builds the canvas on which the crunchy guitars and the astonishingly modern synthesizer sounds are duelling each other. At times the keyboards come up with sequencer sounds borrowed from steamy techno clubs, and while this may feel unusual under the circumstances, it definitely works. It seems as if this has been a one-off though, as the following material is adhering to more traditional or should I say vintage sounds. This isn’t a bad thing though, as Taipuva Luotisuora definitely know what they are doing. Especially the keyboard player has been digging deep in the vaults to come up with ancient organ and electric piano sounds. Compared to that, the guitar actually even sounds rather modern.

The band apparently quotes Ozric Tentacles and Hidria Spacefolk as their biggest influences, the latter making much sense in the context of a Finnish band. But there are also moments when you can hear traces of Mahavishnu Orchestra, and crunchy hard rock elements are not foreign to the band either. Their songs average six minutes each, never much shorter or longer than that, and completely without vocals. In the hands of lesser artists, this might all sound stale and trite, but Taipuva Luotisuora know how to add enough ideas into their songs to make them enchanting sonic journeys. The album ends on the little short of orchestral Evomere, and just like on the opener, the band shows that at the best of times they have true genius within themselves. And to be sure, there are no worst of times with these guys. Fans of vintage progressive rock will find a huge smile on their face after having treated themselves to 8.

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