How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The packaging for Fallingwater includes a quote from Wassily Kandinsky. Two tracks into the album, the music gives way to images of intricate linear patterns and geometric designsand one gets the impression that the Finnish duo's music could have inspired the painter's own works.
A constant, careful examination of sound and texture persists through each of the eleven tracks. As a duo, percussionist Klaus Suonsaari and pianist Frank Carlberg maintain a resolute focus which avoids the muddle that larger groups can sometimes find themselves in. The music flourishes with the dynamism the pair brings to the relationship.
Atonal piano barrages gorge the space between the gluttonous upheavals of Suonsaari's rampage on "KD. Each player's power is profound, especially on selections like "New Tango, the most familiarly dramatic if "normal" tune on the disc, but even the warped, echoing scratching of "Kai, the most "abnormal" tune on the disc, where Carlberg rapidly rubs the strings of his piano, enters a realm of authority by way of echoing schisms slicing the air. The marimba on "Notebooks combines minimalism's cool constancy with the bouncy verve made by the sound of mallets quickly hitting hollow wood. The pair's jovial game continues on "Federico Part I and "Federico Part II, where they clown around with Fender Rhodes samples and introduce electricity.
Amazingly, the overflow of aural generosity Suonsaari and Carlberg present on Fallingwater all wraps up into a nebula of plush sensitivity. Many of the tunes are gentle, and the way they lead into one another, traversing a landscape of vigorous variation, perfects the package.
"Fallingwater Reprise, the album's final track, ripples with tingling cymbals that offer shimmery metallic layers to the calm piano notes. The album basks in a reverent tone throughout, its consideration of sound pulsating with a spiritual tenacity while fearlessly plunging into textured chasms, commencing on the same sweeping vibration it came in on.
Track Listing: Fallingwater; KD; Notebooks; Marita; Federico Part 1; Federico Part 2; Kai; Little Rootie Tootie; Dreaming of You; New Tango; Fallingwater Reprise.
Personnel: Klaus Suonsaari: drums; Frank Carlberg: piano.