Having radiated far enough beyond the fringe zones of industrial/improv/skronk and the like to include pretty much anything askew and lo-fi, noise has essentially eclipsed punk or indie or whatever as the jump-off point for a whole generation of DIY musicians. Finland’s Fonal records has documented the comings and goings of an extended crew of racket-making types, all left of the center enough to be in the noise scene, but definitely not all noise. Tuusanuuskat is a one-off duo comprising label owner Sami Sanpakkila and art type Jan Anderzen, and although it’s definitely some jammed-out noise, it also fits nicely within the softer, blissy, loopy, (ahem) hypnagogic sound of today, washing over you with waves of warm static and diving synths instead of blasts of distilled rage.
This is nothing particularly new. The drone craze of 2004-2006 birthed a gazillion solos and duos whose stargazing antics were encrusted with healthy amounts of roughness, and a couple of them were pretty great. Axolotl stood out to me, although Growing and Skaters got more respect. Either way, if you’ve had any awareness of tape labels or Boss loop stations, you’re probably wondering where the story is with Tuusanuuskat. Two guys get together, jam, and release it. The record’s pretty cool, sometimes harsh, sometimes groovy, and sometimes you’re sitting around waiting for them to get to the next idea. So?
Yeah, totally. If this sounds like a complete snoozefest, Nääksää nää mun kyyneleet will do nothing to convert you. If, however, your attention is still held at this point, you’re in luck because is pretty solid and sometimes awesome. The basic ingredients are Terry Riley noodles, LFO‘ed noise, police sirens and various chirpy things. Generally hyper-dense, it connects mainly to the early promise of free jazz in its ecstasy and crashing howls, yet it keeps its distance from anything as fiery as the anguish that informed Albert Ayler’s cries. All in all, it’s a pleasant, sunny affair, if also manic and a bit ADD. Each track flows into the next nicely, and although the mood shifts from time to time, the album feels more like one large loop than a linear progression. You can dive in at any point, catch a vibe, and then hop out without missing too much of the big picture.
The flipside is, that’s pretty much it. No new ground broken, no exciting process or conceptual parameters, no revelatory moments. Like hearing someone play a solid reggae or blues tune, Nääksää nää mun kyyneleet pleases and then quickly gets out of your way. A solid 36 minutes in the headphone zone, totally worth your time if you’re in the mood but hardly essential. More than a bunch of noise, but kinda just a bunch of noise.