Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


Slowhill: Finndisc


Sign in to view read count
We've heard this song before. The recipe: Sample old jazz LPs, program hip-hop and club-inflected beats, overdub some horn riffs and then mix into a smooth cream which spreads easily. Blue Note enjoys cooking up this meal so much it seems that it is gaining Betty Crocker-status. Us3 did it, St. Germain liked it so much he made it a French dish, and now comes, logically, Slowhill, from Finland. EMI Finland opened its vaults to a Finnish duo, and they set out to add their own spices.

Finndisc was cobbled together by producer/reedist Tapani Rinne and turntablist DJ Slow, with help from some other studio stalwarts who added live instrumentation . Every sample on this disc was culled from the extensive, but relatively unknown, annals of Finnish jazz. These facts coupled with the decidedly downtempo direction Slowhill has chosen keep Finndisc from being a reheated version of the previous Blue Note sample-based records.

The opening track, "Slow Jazz", immediately stakes out new territory from its precursors . Us3's Hand on the Torch opened with the jazz/hip-hop nugget, "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)" and St. Germain's Tourist started off with the burning "Rose Rouge". From the outset, Slowhill announces they are making music for the living room rather than the dancefloor. Rinne's overdubbed bass clarinet and breathy soprano sax lines insinuate a somber mood. And instead of booty-grooving beats, Rinne blows over a minimalist drum machine bass thump until a distant, sampled acoustic bass line drops into the mix, accompanied by fragile electronic tone colors, a spare snare beat and the simmering crackle of vinyl.

The subtle, nocturnal sounds continue on "Fishbass Fusion", a tune drenched in deep, warm bass and lush synth beds, backed by a dragging hip-hop rhythm and light, swinging ride cymbal work by Teppo Makynen. DJ Slow accentuates with scratching that adds a sensitive texture rather than the machismo often associated with turntable work. Even when the beat and bass line bounce with more energy like on "Valo", Slowhill tempers the exuberance with Rinne's drifting melodies on soprano sax and a laid-back organ loop sampled from Pekka Pohjola.

Most importantly, Slowhill integrates the samples into the fabric of their songs, using them as instruments rather than as the basis for their song structures. On "Small Stone", which could fit snugly into any House DJ's set, an infectious piano loop punctuates the dub-deep bass and skittering hi-hats. Rinne then expands on the sample with some graceful soprano sax riffs. Finndisc holds no new revelations for sample-based music, but it offers up a tasty mix of how samples can be used with precision and subtlety.

Track Listing: 1.Slow jazz 2.Super Blue 3.Positive 4.Fishbass Fusion 5.Just a Phrase 6.Valo 7.Yesterday Star 8.Small Stone 9.Fragonardo 10.Song for Eetu

Personnel: Tapani Rinne-soprano sax, bass clarinet DJ Slow-scratches, samples, and producer JP Virtanen-keyboards and co-producer Kalle Chydenius-bass Teppo Makynen-drums Paleface-vocals

Title: Finndisc | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Formidable CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Cochonnerie CD/LP/Track Review Cochonnerie
by John Sharpe
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Smoke CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Threes CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Roots Of Unity" CD/LP/Track Review Roots Of Unity
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Silent Light" CD/LP/Track Review Silent Light
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Contact" CD/LP/Track Review Contact
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 31, 2017
Read "Code Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Get Up And Go" CD/LP/Track Review Get Up And Go
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 25, 2016

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor