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Kalle Kalima & K-18: Out to Lynch

Eyal Hareuveni By

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Berlin-based, Finnish guitarist Kalle Kalima continues to project his aural impressions of the world of movies. This time he focuses on the eccentric characters and locations from the films of David Lynch, following his abstractions of director Stanley Kubrick on Some Kubricks of Blood (TUM, 2009). Kalima is not attempting to re-score or rearrange the original soundtracks from these films. Instead, he exposes his feelings while watching these films, in some cases twenty years later, and filters these initial feelings through his rich and inclusive musical vocabulary that reference jazz improvisation. modern contemporary music and avant-rock.

Crucial to the success of this project is the unique instrumentation of Kallima's K-18 (Finnish for a film "not allowed for viewers under the age of 18") quartet—veteran double bassist Teppo Hauta-aho, quarter-tone accordionist Trio Chaud with Veli Kujala in Helsinki Finland, and saxophonist and musical partner of Kalima, Mikko Innanen. The quarter creates a collective, unique and open sound—often eccentric and suggestive, addressing certain characteristics of the figures that populate Lynch films. Kalima even chose, for this project, a recording studio that could have been an ideal setting for one of Lynch's films— an old venue located in the outskirts of East Berlin, a relic of the totalitarian German Democratic Republic (DDR) that has since succumbed to an anarchistic beehive of artists.

Kalima manages to create a sonic experience close to the visual—a wild, winding ride, populated with colorful, dreamy scenes and weird images and dark figures, rich in details and nuances and both surprising and distressing in turns. Similar to the experience of watching Lynch films, these short compositions are structured like the Russian matuschkas dolls, as elaborate puzzles. They demand repeated listening that allow the exploration of their many layers.

The compositions that are dedicated to characters from the television series Twin peaks (1990-91) stress its essential, surreal atmosphere of, but with doses of macabre humor and few horrific and violent climaxes. The silent improvisation on "The Elephant Man," inspired by the 1980 film, fits the tormented vulnerability of the main character. "Mulholland Drive," after the 2001 film, is an imaginary, psychedelic trip through Hollywood. "Eraserhead," inspired by Lynch's 1977 commercial film debut, introduces a twisted African motive as surreal as the film's mutant character. The dedications to the lovers of Wild at Heart (1990) are intimate and sensual, while "Alvin Straight," the hero of 1990 Straight Story, maintains the simplicity of its narrative with a gentle ballad. "The Mystery Man," inspired 1997's Lost Highway, presents the existential crisis of the hero through the four musicians, all with equal roles, talking at once. "Frank Booth," after the disturbed hero of 1986's Blue Velvet, is personified by Innanen's schizophrenic baritone sax, often ruthless and vicious, but elsewhere affectionate and gentle.

Mystical and poetic achievement.

Track Listing: The Elephant Man; Mulholland Drive; Laura Palmer; Eraserhead; Lula Pace Fortune; Alvin Straight; The Mystery Man; Agent Cooper; Sailor; The Man From Another Place; Frank Booth.

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.

Title: Out To Lynch | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: TUM Records


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