Whilst we review music from all around the world, this is the first time that the Bluesbunny has encountered a band from the Republic of Estonia. The band were called Raskatarsis and the subject of this review was their self titled debut album.
It is an instrumental album that sits somewhere between ambient electronica and freeform jazz. At times - such as "Oksast Mil Ma Rippusin" - this approach takes them off in the direction of the more mannered, and better known, practitioners of the genre. "Tuulegeneraatorid" did sound like it would wander off but held things together with underlying, and interesting, industrial influences. There is always the danger with instrumental albums that the result will become a soundtrack rather than a symphony. Whilst "Vônked-D5" has that feel that would perfectly accompany an art house film, "Sellel on Punane Nokk" seemed more like an excursion into prog rock territory and despite the loose, drifting feel prevalent on many of the tracks, this album was actually very disciplined and tight in its arrangement and production. It does not sound that way the first time that you hear it but further listens confirm it. This regimented approach did not, however, result in cold and uninvolving music. In fact, unravelling the sounds proved to be a reward in itself. Estonian dictionaries are thin on the ground in this part of the world so the song titles remain a mystery but images of abandoned factories and driving at night along city streets came to mind whilst listening.
On a closing note, the packaging of this release is worth comment. Instead of a jewel case or a digipack, this album came in a sort of card notebook with each page being a photograph. Odd, atmospheric photographs (by Sten Eltermaa in case you were wondering) they were too. Black and white and made up of multiple exposures, they catch your attention and entrance you as you try to figure out what they represent. Much like the music, really.