Kalle Kalima & K-18: Out To Lynch (2012)
Finnish guitarist Kalle Kalima uses the cinema as a platform for riding a wave of abstract impressionism. As this album title intimates, the premise is based on eccentric film director David Lynch's body of work. The band pulls quite a few punches on a per-track basis, spanning cantankerous minimalism, free jazz, and levitating sub-themes amid some abrupt crash-and-burn breakouts. The quartet seldom allows anyone to attain a comfort zone, but this isn't to say that the program is unfocused or loosely organized; Kalima also excels in the entertainment department during these irregularly moving parts.
In 1977, Lynch released the off-center horror film Eraserhead, which over time became a cult classic. Here, Kalima's arrangement features edgy sax lines, flickering accordion parts and a loosely based Latin groove that morphs into a state of mystical debauchery. With odd contrasts ruling the roost, various sounds, textures and hues parlay Lynch's surrealist tendencies. However, they spin a low-key vibe during the bridge, sparked by Mikko Innanen's whispery alto sax lines against the guitarist's closed-handed plucking techniques, while turning up the heat via a surging theme-building spree. Kalima is effective at conjuring the subversive elements of Lynch's cinematic stylizations. Perhaps a major component of the underlying message is that weirdness is goodness.
Personnel: Kalle Kalima: electric guitar and percussion; Mikko Innanen: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, flutes and percussion; Veli Kujala: quarter-tone accordion and percussion; Teppo Hauta-aho: double bass, percussion and doors.
Record Label: TUM Records