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SPORING PROMENADE

Jüppala Kääpiö

Track List: 1. Megane Zaru (7:45) 2. Souffle (13:04) 3. Lamellations (7:26) 4. Kääpiö Wandering (7:08) 5. Lunastus (11:39) 6. Brise (8:22) 7. Sunatlus (3:17)

Format: CD + 12 pages booklet
Cover: Gatefold, offset
Number: Limited 300
Issue: May 2010
Label: omnimemento
Catalog number: om01


Distributors/shops

Direct sale: omnimemento (Belgium), 日本版

Europe: Bimbo Tower (France), Drone Records (Germany), minimamedia (Germany), Shining Day (England), Shiny Beast (Holland), Soundohm (Italy)
USA: Experimedia
Japam: Disk Union

Introduction

Our first album "Sporing Promenade" was mostly produced in Canada during our stay in the second half part of 2007.
While strolling in the vast forest, we made a lot of recordings in the environmental sound by handy instruments, such as kalimba, flute, pitch pipe, also various objects such as nuts, stones that we found on the way, as well as our voice.

Then we made 'spontaneous compositions' with instruments such as viola, zither, melodica and effect pedals at home, along with the impression of our strolling and recordings from the forest. Those became the basis of this album.
A part of the recordings, from a concert in Montreal which was made with the same concept, and our first session in Geneva in Autumn 2006, were added to the basis. Then, this album was compiled as the first document of our collaboration.

Folk, Post Rock, Classic : that were Carole’ main influences. Drone, Ambient, Noise, Ethnic Music : that became the basis of Hitoshi's activity as a sound artist.
We think that our quite intuitive way of blending those influences caused this album to obtain a unique style.
The folded aspect of layered various sounds reminded us lamellae of mushrooms. So, we call our music "Lamellate Folklore" since those days.

The album were also visually enriched by the photos of plants, animals, landscapes that we took in Canada, Carole's stuffed dolls and Hitoshi's drawings, which are contained in a gatefold package and a 12 pages booklet.
We would be delighted if the people who obtains this album actually visit forests, and experience their own "Sporing Promenade" there.

Review

Jüppala Kääpiö take us on a Sporing Promenade, a very sylvian-pastoral escapade where the watercolour-styled music is a series of meandering acoustic twitters, drones and peeps, surrounded at all times by forest-like atmospheres and evocative sound effects.
The singing voices which wail and hum in airy tones as though wafted into our lugs on a gentle breeze are particularly affecting.

Inside the booklet there are charming woollen dolls of elves, gnomes, and other forest sprites, photographed amongst nature’s glory (leaves, mushrooms, dew) in delicate, dream-like colours.
In fact the whole album exudes a distant, dreamy air that you could use while reading Alice in Wonderland.

The band may have a Finnish name and exhibit concerns we would associate with the wood-dwelling Finnish Free Folk brigade, but in fact they are German and Japanese - the husband and wife team of Carole Zweifel and Hitoshi Kojo, who also records as Spiracle (producing memorably minimal drone pieces).
A very convincing “take” on certain territories staked out by say, Jeph Jerman and Loren Chasse.

Ed Pinsent (The Sound Projector)


Juppala Kaapio is a project with a Finnish name and Finnish credentials, but not a Finn amongst the lot. The parties responsible are the husband and wife duo of Carole and Hitoshi Kojo (the former Swiss and the latter Japanese by birth), but Hitoshi in particular has spent a fair amount of time in the Finnish hinterlands, and had made an appearance on the recent Kemialliset Ystavat album Ullakopalo.

That said, Hitoshi has a small but impressive catalog of material recorded over the past decade under the moniker Spiracle. There, thick masses of texture piled on top of each other, creating thick drones with ghostly melodies flickering about, much like the archaic sounding recordings of Organum and the more compacted albums of Andrew Chalk. All of this culminated in the 2cd Ananta opus released back in 2009, and Hitoshi shifting his focus to the collaborative project Juppala Kaapio, whose name translates vaguely as the Juppala Dwarf.

The two hint at the thickening drones of Spiracle, focusing more on a clattering, psychedelic ritualism that is more in keeping with all things Fonal - spluttering acoustic guitars, toy synths, Tony Conrad inspired viola drone, hand percussive tappings, prolonged flute tones, lots of bells, found forest objects, and vocalized mantras as if the personal soundtrack to a private ritual for wandering spirits who found themselves in a moss-covered cabin somewhere in the northern reaches of Finland basking in the midnight sun of an endless Arctic summer.

Playful, fantastical, haunting, and thoroughly tripped out, Juppala Kaapio is highly recommended to any one keen on Jewelled Antler, Fursaxa, Taj-Mahal Travellers, Parson Sound, the freakiest end of the freak-folk spectrum, and of course the aforementioned Kemialliset Ystavat.

Jim Haynes (Helen Scarsdale Agency, Aquarius Records)

+ 日本語論評:音薬談



Site design: Hitoshi Kojo + Carole Zweifel, 2008