Sometimes a record gives you the impression of sneaking into a secret place, in this case maybe a small house in the forest with a light scent of smoke in the walls. Especially the first half of the debut album of Ontrei (Timo Väänänen and Rauno Nieminen) feels like excerpts from just freely playing around. It is all about the sounds, and the musicians have some very special ones available. Väänänen hardly plays any familiar-sounding kantele, instead it’s the Novgorod lyre and the West-Siberian pyngyr, both plucked, with the sound reminding of a muffled guitar. Nieminen is on the bowed lyre with its raspy magic sound, as well as guimbards and drum.
The music is a slow process with small gestures, until they land in more traditional, energetic dance tunes.