Dortmunder - Harmonia ja kohu / V/A - Tapahtunut aiemmin
Quite unexpectedly, I got this double CD from Finland. And listening to it, the term, that Finland is THE Rock'n'Roll country of the world, has come true once again. Nowhere is the density of class A Rock bands per square kilometer higher than up North. Not even the U.K. comes close. You might say, finnish people are born with a shot of Rhythm'n'Blues (or any other kind of music).
I've no idea about the band Dortmunder. I'm just drawing a blank, although I've quite some finnish popular music in my collection. In fact, this is just a 5-track CD and all it does, is, wet your appetite for more. It's the kind of Rock music I've come to associate with Finland. Rootsy (in every which way) and upfront. No "independent" U.K. guitar stuff. Really, in a way this is old fashioned music with a twist. Very charming and uplifting. Tracks like "Toisinaan" make you want to sing along, even if you're like me and don't have the slightest idea about the finnish language. And can I just squeeze this in sideways, where my good friends of Doctor's Order make a guest appearance as well.
"Lainelautaileva amiraali" is an instrumental worth its salt. I couldn't find much about Dortmunder on the internet (and what little there was, I couldn't make sense of). As I understand it, this mini CD is still available. The Label is Maaseutumusiikki and they have an internet presence. Just check it out.
Not available anymore is the second CD that came with the Dortmunder one. Apparently, it was only pressed in a very limited quantity. Which is a shame really, as albums like this need a wider distribution and shouldn't be heard by a chosen few only. I'm being told, that this Various Artists compilation sort of tracks Marko Aho's musical life. Marko Aho being the guitarist and singer of afore mentioned band Dortmunder. Here, he's playing with a number of finnish bands. Most of them are unknown to me, except, of course Doctor's Order and I seem to recall Alli And The Gators from somewhere.
Twentythree tracks clocking in at around 66 minutes give you an idea what good music can mean to be. The chosen language of Marko Aho's vocals is finnish. Just don't think it won't work, it bloody well does. Fascinating stuff, even if you're left on the sidelines, wondering what this is all about. The vocals carry a certain mood that seems unique to the finnish nation. No wonder the Tango has so many followers there, as, as someone told me years ago, the Tango is some kind of white man's Blues. And I think he was right about this. This is really an excellent disc, showing off every side of the human mind. Sometimes it's sad, even depressive, at other times its bright and hopeful, with the music going from Rock to Blues and yes, friends and neighbours, I believe I heard some Tango in there somewhere.
There are songs to sing when sober is the last thing on your mind, this kind of alcohol drenched feeling that brings your selfpity out in the open. Other tracks seem to require you to keep your hands off the bottle. In fact, this compilation is quite a rollercoaster in unchartered territory. The joy to hear this album is immense. Listen to "Jos vain osaisin laulaa kantria (lailla Pekka Myllykosken)" and you're even in Country & Western fields. Listening to this CD over and over again, I got the idea, that Alli And The Gators were Mako's backing band for the happy go lucky songs. The Rock torch meanwhile being held high by Doctor's Order and then others going for the Blues and Tango bits.
I don't compare the contributors to each other, because I can truthfully say, everyone made a hell of a job and this is a very entertaining one hour plus. Despite the fact, that I'm listening to a Various Artists compilation, the whole thing is very coherent, something you don't always get. This is not really a contradiction on how I receive the CD, diversity is part of the package here, and not the artificially set up kind. The one thing that should be rectified however, is, that the album should be made available to the general public. This is a shame really, that a CD of this class should sink without being given a chance to swim.