Sala-Arhimo - "Music & Pictures"
(Last Visible Dog 2006, LVD 094)
From Aural Innovations #34 (August 2006)
This CD is very mellow in an almost Incredible String Band/Pink Floyd vein, mixed with subtle hints of Penguin Café Orchestra. It is an acoustic instrument orientated CD, even though there are slight electric instruments mingled. To me, however, it sounds overall acoustic, and believe me that is no bad thing. Also, all lyrics as far as I gather are sung in a foreign tongue, and this I find makes it all the better to the listening experience because I cannot understand a word of it. The only line that I could distinguish as English was 'So I must get back.' I could be wrong. Most other lyrics were more chant like rather than lyrics, which more than made Sala-Arhimo a pleasure to listen to.
The songs themselves, I am happy to inform, are more on the hypnotic side than the song side, and they create an ambience throughout the CD that is pleasant and enchanting, as well as being a total journey to the listener. I would definitely term it spacey, even though most instruments used are acoustic. I would definitely listen to it again because I find that it really does have a lot of depth to it, and it mixes sound in such a way that you drift through the tracks unknowing. You can hear the Pink Floyd 'Careful with that Axe Eugene' vibe throughout certain tracks, especially the opener, 'Onnellisten saari,' which again makes it all the more effective in trance. But don't let the Pink Floyd name drop mislead you, it is more on the vibe than the sound. The CD is slow, folky, laid back, and very simplistic in nature, but it is still filled with enough ambiences to suck you into the vibe without it being too boring and drawn out. The overall sound is refreshing to listen to, and with the instrumentation listed as saxophones, flutes, keyboards, chimes, percussions, melodica, yes-harp, harmonica and tapes, it surely cries out for a listen.
For more information you can visit the Last Visible Dog web site at: http://www.lastvisibledog.com.
Reviewed by Albert Pollard