Kemialliset Ystävät Ullakkopalo
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“The albums that Finnish auteur Jan Anderzén and his collaborators have crafted under the name are remarkable for their energetic, magpie eclectism: The Incredible String Band’s surreal acid folk, via the alien tape manipulations of Ghédalia Tazartés, as re-jigged in the mind of Maurice Sendak. But Ullakkopalo, three years in the making, takes the projects colour-rich maximalism to a whole other level.” – The Wire / Nick Richardson
“Nothing less than mesmerizing sonic art” – Treble / Jeff Terich
“…the way Kemialliset Ystävät’s hypnotic little melodies (“Ystävälliset Miekat” being a great case in point) emerge from the improvised thicket, and the way everything is played, notwithstanding the density, with such brightness and clarity, is really genuinely charming.”
-Uncut / John Mulvey
“Jan Anderzén is one of the few Finnish musicians to achieve renown on the international experimental circuit. In the case of Anderzén (who also plies a trade as a visual artist), this is not a matter of juxtaposition between the experimental and the mainstream, or a calculated career choice. Using music and images, he is busy creating a world that is a law unto itself, a world of exceptional freedom and beauty.
KY albums have been peppered with contributions from individuals such as Islaja, the members of Avarus, and Sami Sänpäkkilä. It’s not easy to tell who plays what on Kemialliset Ystävät recordings. Rather than being a project consisting of solo parts, the band is an eco-system within Anderzén’s reality.
One of the essential techniques applied by Anderzén is collage, in sound as well as image. He is no conventional instrumental virtuoso; his music is created with a fluctuating array of instruments and equipment. The focus is less on instrumental prowess and more on the overall sound and impression, as well as the tension between the various materials. As a manipulator of these elements, Anderzén is in a league of his own. His sampler based solo performances as Tomutonttu have left no doubt about that.
A close listening of Anderzén’s music reveals its near architectonic precision. He is known for an exceptionally painstaking approach to creating his music. All this hard work is readily evident in the finished product, not as an over-emphasised complexity but as a clearly independent fully realised vision.
Kemialliset Ystävät is like a natural phenomenon. It is difficult to imagine anyone having consciously constructed it, such is the ease with which it presents itself to us. To be in the presence of Anderzen’s work is captivating in the same way it is to stare into the fire – simple, yet inexplicable. It truly takes a master to create such an experience, but listening to the new Kemialliset Ystävät album evokes just that: a feeling of lightness.“
– Kimmo Modig