I am shivering. The second album of Tuuletar, an ensemble that has attracted much international buzz, raises goose bumps for a variety of reasons. Describing themselves as a ‘vocal folk hop’ group, they showed their chops on their first album Tules maas vedes taivaal (2016), and now they can afford to introduce some vulnerability.
Rajatila [Borderline] is a powerful concept album that transports the listener to the instant before the final step. This theme is explored in strong texts both traditional and authored by the band members. The performance is raw, powerful and fragile, and the contribution of the producer and guest artist, jouhikko player Pekko Käppi, is suitably rough.
A cappella singing, sampled vocal beats and beatboxing have come to be identified as the hallmarks of the ensemble. On this disc, the marriage of machine and human is more natural than ever and recalls the experiments by Björk on a similar theme. Melodies both traditional-style and pop-oriented blend smoothly into the mix. The result is diverse but coherent. The intensity builds towards the track ‘Valtaaja’ [Invader], where vocals reminiscent of Hedningarna combines with a pulsing club beat. Yet in the end, peace is attained.
TUULETAR: Rajatila - Borderline
2019 Bafe's Factory / Nordic Notes MBA032