The versatile Olavi Louhivuori is equally at home in the acoustic as well as the electric. With Oddarrang’s fourth release, the drummer and composer seems to be taking more risks than before. Anchoring the familiar dreamy sound to electronics and the trombone of Ilmari Pohjola, he leads the group on a weird and wonderful trip – perhaps to the centre of the earth, as the title suggests. Key tracks on the journey are “Central Sun” and “Mass I-II”, where the signature sound of brass is perfectly balanced by the guitar of Lasse Sakara and the cello of Osmo Ikonen.
For those interested in labelling, Oddarrang could easily be lumped in with so-called post-jazz bands if only they relied solely on meandering and moody soundscapes. But the strong compositional vision of Louhivuori, so apparent ever since the group’s debut album Music Illustrated (2006), is the magnet that pulls the quintet away from the masses of bands creating “cinematic” and melancholy albums that are forgotten as soon as they are over. Oddarang haunts the listener for a long time.