Avarus - "Jättiläisrotta"
(Secret Eye 2004, AB-OC-13)
From Aural Innovations #31 (June 2005)
Hailing from Finland, Avarus are a psychedelic improvisational group. This is lo-fi, crazy stuff with slow, throbbing rhythms and swirling, quirky sounds. I'm not sure if it's played in a blissed out state or in a manic state. Maybe it's both, because you get a sense of weird energy, even in the mellower tracks. The lo-fi quality of the recording gives it the feel that they recorded it in someone's basement, just a group of friends hanging out and jamming. But jamming in often strange, and definitely psychedelic territory. Pulsing drones, weird echoing effects, and acoustic plunking all add up to something not easy to define. Is it free jazz? Is it free folk? Is it just plain laidback, acid freak out insanity? Well, the answer is, probably all of these and more.
Some of the tracks, like Herra Ykkönen have a European traditional folk vibe to them (though tradition kind of goes out the wind with all the weird, murky mewling, like the ghosts of long dead cats, floating around underneath the acoustic sounds). Other tracks, if not firmly in, are definitely dancing around a more rock oriented groove, like the raucous, reverb freak out of Prinssi Halonen. Still others, like Iso Lääkelaiva, are pure eccentric soundscapes.
I was going to conclude by saying this is music to do something or other by, but for the life of me, I just couldn't come up with exactly what you would do along with it. So hey, just listen to it!
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Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald