Album Review

Juppala Kaapio – “Alpen Ocean” – [Omnimemento]

Thurston Hunger   11/13/2013   A Library, CD

juppala_alpenAn omniMEMENTO indeed, the duo of Carole and Hitoshi Kojo migrating from
Switzerland for Belgium leave us a swan song of preternatural power drone.
Fertile sound creation blending field recordings, electronics, handmade
instruments and the human voice; so a babbling brook is stirred by the
same force that makes viola strings sway. On “Alpen Ocean” their voices
are like monks, praying to unseen birds (and reminiscent of the queen of
Monks: Meredith). Waves of flanger course through this track, which
at 12 1/2 minutes undergoes a sea change, the waves then come less
frequently, but speckled synth dots the skies. When the voices return
they take the form of winds before vanishing. On the “flip” side, we
have “Atlantic Alps” where the buzz drone of flies marries with vox
angeli to create a sonic afterlife that is both peaceful and unsettling.
By the end though, bells ring and clouds part and the gradual
transformation is complete. Overall the harmony of man and woman, of
analog and digital, of organic and synthetic is striking here, even
more beautiful than the packaging. We were fortunately graced by the
handmade CDR version, lucky you found a vinyl copy hidden in a
hollow redwood tree in a fairy ring. Get dwarfed by the sound!

-Thurston Hunger

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