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Terror & Healing

Tsembla — Terror & Healing (16 Feb '15)

Sweden Finland              Tsembla — Terror & Healing 
Location: Turku, Finland
Album release: 16 Feb '15
Record Label: New Images
Cat Number: NI23
Duration:     38:29
01. Animal Negatives     5:17
02. Sokean Sormet     4:14
03. The End Of Gold     1:28
04. Disputing With Stray Dogs     2:30
05. Purple Arrows     5:25
06. Love Potion     4:06
07. An Absence Surrounded By Presence     2:28
08. Go Fast As Fire, Return Like Smoke     4:58
09. Sinuhe Bebe     3:52
10. Alejandro     4:11
Tsembla : Nouskaa Henget (S/FIN,2013) Score: ****
♠Ξ♠   Finland has a couple of underground scenes which are interesting to dig out; some of these scenes act and express like pretty different worlds on it’s own. Outside the official circuit of Finnish folk and folk–rock music, especially the Fonat label once started to introduce a whole different world of experimental and more intuitive folk artists, who often kept the connection with descriptive–with–music environmental atmospheres. I thought at first that Tsembla would fit well with that scene (–also look at the art work–), but that is not entirely true.
♠Ξ♠   There also exists a second separate sound world in Finland that is highly interesting, which is the stage– and pop experimenters with electronics. There are of course whole numbers of more ambient composers but that is not the scene that I want to bring up here. Tsembla, as a one–woman project by Swedish/Finnish Marja Johansson, could be placed on stage equally well like another electronic music musician. But instead of basing her self upon analogue synths sounds and its possible fun, the project leader mostly works with the organisation and evolution of sounds samples, often from acoustic origins, but they could as well originate from toys or perhaps even from computer games. I assume that Tsembla could equally well be inspired from an ethnical African music source, while she changes this all into a new complex form of rhythmical sound painting, in a form which makes her in fact rather unique. If you like to put her into an existing genre, I would still go for the folktronica labelling….
♠Ξ♠   After a 7”,  “Tuplafiesta” (Vauva, 2009) and a first LP, “Fauna” (Ikuisuus, 2011), this is in fact her third release. On two tracks multiple flutist player Antti Tolvi (Rauhan Orkesteri, Lauhkeat Lampaat,...) was featured as a guest…
♠Ξ♠   What makes Tsembla lean towards the underground folk scene is that it seems that also she brought samples back from nature for reorganisation, to perform with them a more multi–coloured playful demonstration with it for an urban or smaller community environment, indoors, showing their secret lives like only a magical wizard can do that. It is a demonstration with full movement of theatrical light. The African rhythms and the ethnical flutes which you will hear and also the birds sounds become part of a magical and new–shamanic sound world that is able to play these rhythms out just like movements from a painter who is able to translate each movement into a sound form with all is different colours as well.
_______________________-------------------the LP-----------------__________________
♠Ξ♠   I will describe all this a bit more into detail.
♠Ξ♠   The first track, “Hypoteesi”, consists of rhythmical bubbles and reverbs, like a box full of birds samples and fitting–to–it electronics, which in this combination starts to form it’s own playful movement that is dancing colourfully (–we can hear a slow tambourine rhythm in it as well–).
♠Ξ♠   On “Aivojen Pimeydessä”, I have the impression that an African rhythm has been processed with midi or so for a melodic bass foundation which is then combined with a keyboard song melody, and then also mixed with extra moving bubbles of electronics with in the end of it also some processed samples of sheep or cows–or–so sounds.
♠Ξ♠   The even more rhythmical “Stjärnan” has a poppy rhythm, while its sound paintings in it are brushed rhythmically in all variations of directions. On this track I very much had the impression that Tsembla makes her musical movements like in essence a caterpillar rhythmically is moving, with on each foot a differently coloured shoe.
♠Ξ♠   “Vasen Käsi, Kolmas Ovi” is the second track that has something of an African music performance, performed with flutes and deeper hand drum. It is as if an original sampled recording was multiple cut–and–pasted so many times and so often that you started to get an rhythmically overlapping and oversampled doubling vision of it, while the real flutes still show itself vividly over the oddities, and have a part of its own. I guess this is the first cooperative track with the aforementioned flutist. This track still evolves like a folk music performance with different emphasises and dominations of rhythms and with left over rhythmical pauses for the flute part dominations. Also a melodic keyboard part is playfully interwoven in it.
♠Ξ♠   “Mitä Me Etsimme?” also has something of such an ethnical tribe rhythm, but then this time almost purely produced with electronic rhythms, in combination with a whole series of electroacoustic effects that make the rhythm more complex in changing colours and extra fantasy effects. Parts of the used samples could have come easily from computer games but of course I don’t really know where they come from. Something like a vocoder (?) voice can be heard in it as well. This is a very playful tune but still also a very experimental track.
♠Ξ♠   “Hirtetty” is the second track that brilliantly plays with nose(–flute?) and bottle–flute sounds, mixed with some koto–like string effects and percussive clicking and ticking rhythms, and some extra “tale”–formed “puu”–sounds.
♠Ξ♠   “Vuoren Huipulle” could be another track of an African village improvisation on moveable body flutes, finding its own rhythm and with other oddly overlapping combinations once more, while being mixed with a changing bass, dug–like sounds and a few more rhythms.
♠Ξ♠   And also on the next track,“Viikunakatedraali”, I still continue to have the same impression once more of the foundation of an ethnical–based dance. This track seems to have taken something from a reverb breathing sample rhythm, while being mixed with sweet child bird cries, the sound of a bell played by a triangle and a melodic keyboard tune. This whole foundation is further arranged into a more poppy track, which means: with extra bass and keyboards and voices, to make it more dynamic and powerful, but also more recognisable for a public that might not be used to too much weirdness after all. The rhythmical consistency and progression that she shows with it remains interesting to hear. In the last part she adds something like ‘New Wave’–alike and machinegun–like rhythms and even more keyboards, before ending with its acoustic sounds alone. This is a track that proves that, if needed, the arranger/performer is also able to tease the public well.
♠Ξ♠   After a last shorter and groovy instrumental “Dåren” (flutes, a changing bass deep sound rhythm and keyboards driven rhythms), on the last track, “Nouskaa Henget!”, Marja Johansson aka Tsembla starts to bring everything together once more and shows another attempt to arrange a track into different section and evolutions. This track used bubbling, birds sound and acoustic percussion and acoustic sounds. It evolves in a well–arranged and rhythmically driven direction of change, with some quieter (without bass, and more repetitive) and some more directly groovy parts (with bass), with an experimental part of more change, and a composed part with ambient overlapping keyboards. This is not as powerful as the previous poppier track but it is still good to have such sort of an ending on the album.
♠Ξ♠   Tsembla I still think has a very original vision with her material for the use of samples. The cooperative tracks on it worked itself out very well too!
Audio: https://soundcloud.com/tsembla & http://tsembla.bandcamp.com/
& http://boomkat.com/... or http://www.midheaven.com/artist/tsembla & http://www.meditations.jp/...
Homepage: http://tsembla.tumblr.com/ & http://www.tsembla.com/
& http://www.last.fm/music/Tsembla
Label info: http://newimageslimited.com/catalog/tsembla-nouskaa-henget-lp
Shop description: http://www.piccadillyrecords.com/... & http://www.clearspot.nl...
Other review: http://www.tinymixtapes.com/music-review/tsembla-nouskaa-henget
& http://www.fusetronsound.com/...
Article: http://aboutsliver.com/...
:: http://www.psychedelicfolk.com/Tsembla.html 

                                                                                                                       Ξ•   Terror & Healing is a string of mind adventures, ten miniatures of possibilities, a bunch of invisible cities and imaginary beings. It’s a contribution to the exploration and unmapping of reality through imaginative research, remaking the ears into the fingers of the blind, piecing the multitude back into music.
Ξ•  The work of Swedish–Finnish artist Marja Johansson, a member of the Kemialliset Ystävät ensemble, Tsembla operates out of Turku, Finland. The album is the project’s third full–length and follows Nouskaa Henget (New Images, 2013) and Fauna (Ikuisuus, 2011). Tsembla’s arrangements of sounds from manipulated samples, electronics and objects are rich in detail, riding on waves of warped melodies, fluttering rhythms, abstract voices and mutating textures.
:: http://www.piccadillyrecords.com/
Website: http://www.tsembla.com/sounds.html
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/tsembla
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tsembla
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tsembla
Ξ•  Terror & Healing is Tsembla’s fourth release after the 2013 LP Nouskaa henget (New Images), Fauna (Ikuisuus, 2011) and Tuplafiesta 7” (Vauva, 2009). Tsembla, aka Marja Johansson, is a Swedish–Finnish artist operating out of Turku, Finland. She’s an active worker in the musical activities of her hometown and a member of the Kemialliset Ystävät ensemble. Arranging sounds from manipulated samples, electronics and objects, Tsembla’s music is rich in detail, riding on waves of warped melodies, fluttering rhythms, abstract voices and mutating textures.
Ξ•  Terror & Healing is a string of mind adventures, ten miniatures of possibilities, a bunch of invisible cities and imaginary beings. It’s a contribution to the exploring and unmapping of reality through imaginative research, making the ears like the fingers of the blind, piecing the multitude back into music. :: http://www.soundohm.com/

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