Sunday, 23rd April 2017. 9:56:29am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Experimental, IDM, Glitch The Kolmas - Kolmas Testi

Artist: The Kolmas

 

Album: Kolmas Testi

 

Label: Ektro Records

 

Genre: Experimental

 

Release Date: May 28th 2013

 

kolmas thumb

 

 

The Kolmas is an electronic project by Veli-Matti O. Äijälä whom we know from bands such as Death Trip and other Finnish underground projects. Kolmas Testi contains recordings from the past three decades.

 

Intro” was recorded live in front of a small crowd in a hot garage in Tornio, Finland, in the early 1980s. “Puolet Paavia” parts 1 and 2 were recorded in the Ikbal Studios in Tornio, “Viisi Osaa” in the Ikbal Studios in Helsinki in the 1990s. The latest nine compositions, which are set in the city of Oulu, were recorded more recently.

 

Ektro Records describe the sound of The Kolmas as: “Cat power, natural and inspiringly mechanical production”. To me, the recording mostly sound like someone having fun with synthesizers on a Sunday afternoon, fiddling with the buttons and trying to figure out which sounds the machines can produce. The coherence in the tracks on Kolmas Testi is something I could not decipher.

 

So what can we find on Kolmas Testi? The album consists of snippets of experimental electronic music (typically around 2 minutes in length) that build soundscapes from a different universe relying on synthesizers only. Some of the tracks bear resemblance to binaural beats as a result of the estranged drum section that only uses hi-hat.

 

Overall, Kolmas Testi sounds very weird and certainly not musical according to our sense of tonality. When listening to these tracks, I forget at a certain point that I am listening to an actual recording, and everything fades into background noise that is barely audible. Honestly, I found no joy in listening to this album.

 

A possible interpretation that I can give to the sounds on Kolmas Testi is that it represents all the noise we go through during a day, with the different mechanical sounds that attack our senses and our feeling of balance and rest.

 

Let me highlight some of the different tracks on Kolmas Testi. The first interesting track is “Puolet Paavia 2”, that sounds like something you would hear when you are outside of a discotheque, with muffled sounds of bass and low synths peering through the wall. “Viisi Osaa 1” brings us the engine of a starting motor bike, and “Viisi Osaa 2” sounds like someone hammering a nail into the wall, yet based on a fast drum-like beat. “Viisi Osaa 5” contains barely audible chords with a very high-pitched sound that is similar to a working TV set.

 

Optimum 8” shocks the listener awake again, by literally sounding like an alarm clock. “Kolmastesti” is the annoying sound of a machine that is working, and contains something close to what you hear when you scratch your nails over the blackboard. “Valvomo” is the only track that has hints of a human voice in it, layered over a mean industrial beat and could easily be seen as the most accessible track on Kolmas Testi.

 

The final track of the album is “Murskaamo”, an almost, but not quite like, danceable track that is absolutely monotonous and makes a strange ending to an even stranger album.

 

To recap: if you are into synthesizers and electronic music, you might like to check out Kolmas Testi by The Kolmas to see if you can make sense of an album that left me clueless.

 

You can listen to “Optimum 8” here.

Order Kolmas Testi via Ektro Records.


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