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(38:11, Art Safari Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Orbitary Volcano 7:11 2. Phantom Wakes 12:26 3. Cosmic Train to Anticreation 7:41 4. Trinity Quadrilogy 10:53 LINEUP: Sini – saxophone; mallet percussion, bells Teppo – keyboards; voices Tuomas – guitars Marko – drums Ville – bass With: Antti – trombone
Prolusion. The Finnish band DASPUTNIK was formed back in 2006 and has been an active live and recording unit ever since. Following a CD-R demo in 2007 the band made their first official EP release, "Blatta Caverna," in 2008, and hot on the heels of that disc came their full-length debut effort "Parapsykosis" in 2009. "Cyclokosmia" is their most recent CD, and was issued in the spring of 2011.
Analysis. From what I understand, there is a vibrant scene for space rock and psychedelic rock in the land of the thousand lakes. Not by personal knowledge, but according to some of the people residing in that nation I have more or less regular contact with. Just how vital that scene is I don't know, but whenever I encounter a band exploring those styles of Finnish origins I tend to be in for a musical treat. Dasputnik is as good an example as any of this phenomenon. Vintage space rock is the name of the game on this occasion, the music heavily referencing this style as it was most commonly explored back in the first half of the 70's: analogue mix and production; instruments either of vintage origin or mimicking ones that are, and no vocals. The foundation is catered to by the rhythm section throughout, bass guitar and drums in a tightly-woven interplay catering for pace as well as a fundamental melodic motif. The rest of the instruments used are having a ball on top, so to speak, in what I surmise are at least partially improvised displays. The guitar tends to be dampened in expression, and is used in a fair amount of different expressions – churning, dark-toned vintage riff patterns with or without melodic overlay, lightly-toned swirling textures of a non-distorted variety and blazing solo displays dripping with psychedelic flavors, venturing back and forth between taking the lead and having more of a dampened, subservient role. Futuristic and mystical textures and sounds from keyboards and synthesizers are regular additions to the arrangements, only rarely given a dominating role but central in the creation of the space rock atmosphere throughout. The good old organ is given a few airings too, but not in a dominating manner. The saxophone does however. Whenever the guitar isn't given the spotlight the saxophone takes the melodic lead to good effect, gently soloing in the calmer parts or with powerful, energetic displays in the pace-filled, intense sequences – arguably not in an extremely virtuous manner, but effectively utilized to cater for strong melodies as well as to emphasize the vintage orientation of the music in general. Up to and including an insert of a Russian-tinged theme on the brilliant Cosmic Train to Anticreation, a clear album highlight and a delight to the ears and mind of this space cadet.
Conclusion. Space rock as they made it in the first half of the 70's is what Dasputnik has to offer on its latest production, where the saxophone and guitar share the limelight as far catering for the lead motifs go. Analogue mix and production emphasize the retro-oriented approach in a delightful manner and, all in all, this CD should be a treat for most space cadets, and those with a keen interest in Hawkwind's early 70's excursions may perhaps be a key audience. This creation is well worth checking out anyhow, as long as space rock is a style that interests you. A high-quality production and one easily recommended.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: January 24, 2012
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