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Monday, September 19, 2011

Avant-Minimal Accordion Music from Finland: Antii Paalanen's "Beatbox"

I don't suppose anyone would accuse this blog of getting stuck in a rut. And since it's people who make blogs, and they don't make themselves, it is this writer you can either thank or blame for it.

As if to make a point we travel to Finland today for a most interesting CD of accordion music by composer Antii Paalanen: Beatbox (Sibelius Academy 1005). It's Paalanen and his three row accordion, sometimes apparently multi-tracked, in a program of nine semi-miniatures.

What is compelling is how Antii combines minimalism, folk-like strains and quasi-rock rhythmic insistence into a heady mix that is all his own. There is a full use of all the parameters of sound that his instrument can produce and there is a definite virtuostic bent to the intricacy of the music.

It's melodic in the recognizable almost whistle-along sense. But it also has a power to it that makes it far from lightweight fare. This is serious music. It is seriously interesting. Seriously worth hearing.

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