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Uskallan by Paavoharju
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8/10 Phil 19 November 2006
The second in Type’s ongoing series of limited edition 7”s comes from the remote frozen countryside of Finland. The band in question is Paavoharju, a collective formed around two brothers – Lauri and Olli Ainala and their troupe of associates. After unleashing their incredible debut album ‘Yhä hämärää’ on the wonderful Fonal label last year, the world’s alternative press suddenly had another bizarre group to write about, and once they pulled out the born-again Christian card, it was just icing on the already decorated cake. The band’s music is a quite unexplainably twisted concoction of pop, electronics, folk, Bollywood soundtracks and classic easy listening. It’s not a list of genres you would usually expect see married, but Paavoharju manage to do it without the need of a guidance councillor, just. On this exclusive 7”they contribute two tracks, the A Side is ‘Uskallan’ and veers towards their blistering pop side. This is the sort of track the 7” format breathes for – unashamedly cheesy but containing enough crunchy lo-fi abstraction to keep the most po-faced nu-folk junkie happy, we would like to think that ‘Uskallan’ is Finland’s alternative entry to the Eurovision song contest. Who knows, it might happen one day! The flip side however goes for a different feeling altogether, with a slow and distorted piano line taking us blissfully into a magical world of creaking wooden cabins and hidden snow-caves. Paavoharju usher us into their crumbling frosty land like a gang of mysterious Finnish Pied Pipers, and who are we to resist their charms?


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