As if suddenly switching on, Jüppala Kääpiö’s “Rainbow Mask” starts its thorny way along the listener’s ear tract, and, transformed into the other energetic form, reaches the brain, making it shiver with unearthly vibrations and shine with inconceivable kind of inner light.
Honestly, this album represents a gripping psychedelic experience, made of unfolding synthesized sounds, guitar drones, voices, constituting a rather organic texture, with the effect of expansion and overall penetration, as if it is a choir of some extraterrestrial beings, whose mantric singing blends in to a massive, rainbow and radiant flow.
The entire album definitely possesses some kind of magnetism or gravitation, for the tracks’ moods are able to cleanse you of various vain thoughts, occupying the liberated mental space with magic droning energy. So, try Jüppala Kääpiö’s “Rainbow Mask” on.
Edition of 250 copies LP from the magical duo of Japanese cosmonaut Hitoshi Kojo (Kodama et al) and Carole Kojo: two mind-blowing side-long workings that use heavily processed viola and vocals to generate the kind of endless headspace of Terry Riley’s all-night flights, with a hyper dense, microtonally overloaded ascension feel that touches on the whole Nitsch/Palestine feel for extended ritual drama while extrapolating what sounds like a melange of Cale’s famous organ solo on Sister Ray and the closing section of “Black Angel’s Death Song”.
Over on the flip the feel is more Europe Endless, with glacial string drones and piano marrying baroque psychoactive bows of coruscating tone magic and the feel of a slow motion/orchestral Neu/Harmonia free-floating high above the autobahn.
Totally stunning, another peerless side of higher mind from this amazing duo.
Juppala Kappio is the husband and wife duo of a Japanese sound artist and a Swiss folk artist. Together they do some very minimal and pretty drone music.
With one long piece per side, heavy on strings and some manipulations, JK are doing some very nice and sustained pieces that lean more heavily on sound design than they do traditional folk music. It’s hard not to draw a comparison to the Minimalism Founders when you’re using strings, so JK are not immune to the old LaMonte Young quip, but it is to their advantage that their songs are softer on the edges.
The second side features a more cosmic-sounding collage, darker and a little rougher around the edges, but still providing a serene quality of delivery.
Despite the Finnish-looking name, Jüppala Kääpiö are the husband and wife duo of Swiss singer and viola player Carole Zweifel and Japanese sound artist Hitoshi Kojo, who has recorded as Spiracle since 2000.
The duo's recent CD Sporing Promenade combined woodland field recordings, voices and various acoustic instruments such as viola, zither, and melodica, all put through various time-lags and treatments, to create a gently psychedelic drone-folk reminiscent of Tara Burke's Fursaxa.
This vinyl release, however, is much closer to Kojo's work as Spiracle: two monolithic, sidelong pieces of ambient Noise. With its infinitely ascending heavenly drone, the A side's title track could almost be a Skaters jam. It's a deliberately trippy piece of 21st century Kosmische constructed from Zweifel's voice and viola, and processed in real time by Kojo.
Full of heat-haze overtones and rippling arpeggios, it recalls Terry Riley circa A Rainbow in Curved Air. If it strives for the blanket-bombing effect of filling every gap in the listener's consciousness, the B side's "Masked Rainbow" is a more diaphanous affair, with viola and piano peeping through holes in the drone. Zweifel's dipping viola even sounds at times like it has adopted the tuning of an Indian violin, giving the piece a raga-like quality.
This is powerfully psychedelic music that neatly sidesteps current obsessions with 1980s kitsch and plugs straight back into the 1960s-inspired urge for transcendence and spiritual transport.
A swarmingly beautiful, miasmic piece of psychedelic drone folk! Juppala Kaaplo is the husband and wife duo of Carole and Hitoshi Kojo, the latter of whom had released a number of spectacular drone-smear constructions under the moniker Spiracle.
Minimalism is certainly a key component to the Juppala Kaaplo sound, but it's the kaleidoscopic trills that you'll get from Terry Riley rather than the steely suspension from Organum or Phill Niblock.
Certainly, Spiracle's last affair - the daydreaming ambient record Ananta - was a much friendlier form of minimalism, but we were still not entirely expecting the shimmering, prism-shot psychedelia of this album.
A hypnotizing mass immediately emerges from the lp with lengthy repetitions of Carole's vocal that is equal parts Liz Harris and Tara Burke, haunting the forest-dwelling drones from various bowed instruments that Hitoshi stacks into sinewy passages.
Throughout, long breathy gasps of aerated noises push to the foreground alongside a revolving set of church organ trills and arpeggiations that faithfully play homage to Terry Riley's classic Rainbow In Curved Air.
The second side is a slightly more somber affair with violin and piano gliding out of an aggregate drone from those two instruments. Like the A-side, it's a wonderful bliss-out number albeit sodden from a rainy night out in the Finnish wilderness.
Jim Haynes (Helen Scarsdale Agency, Aquarius Records)