Check out a trailer for the upcoming Paavoharju DVD "Unien savonlinna", due out in early December via : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwnyR_a1OSk
Tape and Paavoharju made Raven Sings the Blues year-end best-of list: http://ravensingstheblues.blogspot.com/2008/12/well-here-it-is-end-of-2008.html
Also note Eddy Current Suppression Ring at #1; like I said in my comments, that's definitely a top 10 album.
Pitchfork has a big guestlist feature with best-of lists from artists such as Luomo, Lindstrøm, Lykke Li, Air France, Sune Rose Wagner, Paavoharju and Love Is All: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/feature/147687-guest-list-best-of-2008
Motel De Moka include Paavoharju, Tape and Lykke Li in their best-of-2008 list: http://www.moteldemoka.com/2008/12/08/mokas-top-10-albums-2008/
Lykke Li, Air France and Paavoharju have made Gorilla vs Bear's top 20 albums of 2008 list: http://gorillavsbear.blogspot.com/2008/12/gorilla-vs-bears-albums-of-2008.html
Finnish artists Paavoharju contribute to this week's "Listed" feature at Dusted (along with Mi Ami, one of my friend's bands): http://www.dustedmagazine.com/features/770
PopMatters reviews Paavoharju: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/62760/paavoharju-laulu-laakson-kukista/
Here's the playlist for this week's radio show:
01. Midnight Choir - Will you carry me across the water?
02. TALK 1
03. Anna Maria Espinosa - Everyday
04. I Are Droid - Sevenfold
05. Paavoharju - Kevätrumpu
06. TALK 2
07. I'm From Barcelona - Music killed me
08. Marit Bergman - All that I ask of the morning
09. Ef - Thrills
10. TALK 3
11. Hello Saferide - Anna
12. Freddie Wadling - Running madly backwards
13. Tobias Hellkvist - Vintervarm
14. TALK 4
15. Scraps of Tape - Vibrancy
16. Oskar Schönning - Stoner
17. Elias and the Wizzkids - 24
18. TALK 5
19. Robert Svensson - Young enough (ft. Markus Krunegård)
Reminder: My show on Sirius Left of Center (channel 26) airs Sundays at 11pm ET with repeats on Monday at the same time.
Paavoharju makes some very interesting sounds, but after giving their new album "Laulu laakson kukista" numerous spins, I have come to the conclusion that it lacks a cohesive narrative, ultimately rendering them forgettable. At first I wondered if maybe I wasn't in the correct damaged state of mind to appreciate their weirdness, but nothing sticks no matter how many times I listen. It's especially disappointing too because, like I said, the actual sounds they create are fascinating. "Kevätrumpu" is a good illustration of my frustration -- the main melody line is established early on and flutters in and out of focus as the piece progresses, yet it never really goes anywhere. It goes from tepid to soft to tepid and then ceases to be altogether. Very disappointing.
Paavoharju - Kevätrumpu
Listening to "Laulu laakson kukista", it's easy to hear where everyone gets the "freak" and "psych" to prefix Paavoharju's inscrutable blend of folk. It's hardly consistent—perhaps one of the reasons that they remain on the folk margins is their uneven, genre-hopping approach to LPs, where they give almost as much time to circus music larceny as they do to their fuzz-folk-meets-trip hop explorations.
The appearance of waltz time is perhaps the only thematic glue that binds the disparate ends on "Kukista". These waltzes work better when they rummage around in a fog of electronica, while darkly angelic female vocalists swarm as sirens around come-and-go drums. Attempts at a more straightforward approach like "Italialaisella laivalla" mostly fail to impress -- the melodies too woodsy, their signature ethereal errata too lacking.
It's beat-driven songs like "Uskallan" with its broad, almost proto-Slavic melody that get the job done when neither the siren's song or the sea of low-tech ambience can be found. These latter qualities, prominent in "Kevatrumpu", "Kirkonvaki", and "Tytto tanssii" are starkly beautiful highlights -- better than anything I've heard all year -- but Paavoharju has trouble finding enough "Uskallan" moments to lift the rest of the album out of the water.
I guess Paavoharju is just hard to understand. Maybe it's the fact that I don't know a word of Finnish, or maybe it's the fact that their self-proclaimed mystic Christian asceticism is supposed to inspire visions of 16th-century Byzantium that I just don't get. But all of this confusion never subtracts from the weird beauty of most of this album. It remains impressive and stunning, and its arcane nature rewards with repeat listens.
- Nathan Keegan
The Village Voice on the new wave of Scandinavian ethereal weirdness, ie Ólafur Arnalds, Es, Ville Leinonen, and Paavoharju: http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-07-29/music/five-founts-of-ethereal-weirdness-lafur-arnalds-es-ville-leinonen-and-paavoharju/
Dusted reviews the new Paavoharju record "Laulu laakson kukista": http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/4421
New stuff on the way from Fonal Records:
05/14 - Paavoharju - Laulu laakson kukista CD/LP/Download
05/14 - Lau Nau - Nukkuu CD/Download
05/21 - Risto - Ylimääräiset! Download EP
05/21 - Risto - Live! CD/Download
Paavoharju has posted a new track on myspace from their forthcoming record "Laulu laakson kukista": http://www.myspace.com/paavoharju