Review: Tenhi - airut:aamujen (2006)


artist: Tenhi (Harmaa)
release: airut:aamujen
format: CD
year of release: 2004, 2006
label: Utustu­dio (2004), Auerbach (2006)
dur­a­tion: 52:16

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

This is the second Tenhi release of 2006, but a mis­lead­ing one, as it was already released in 2004 under the artist name of Harmaa. The album was ori­gin­ally con­ceived as a side pro­ject to con­tinute the saga that star­ted with the airut:ciwi EP. Appar­ently the band decided it would be proper to rerelease it under the Tenhi name. It think it’s a good decision, as it will bring more atten­tion to this excel­lent album.

airut:aamujen is dif­fer­ent from other Tenhi mater­ial, because of the stripped down instru­ment­a­tion. This album is played solely on drums, bass and piano, though with the trade­mark vocals, here and there sup­por­ted by the female singer Jan­ina Lehto. Need­less to say, the piano plays a lead­ing role on this album, and in that respect it is sim­ilar to some tracks on Maaäet. It doesn’t really sound like a musical sequel to airut:ciwi, though, except per­haps to the beau­ti­ful “Kielo”, which fea­tured on that release.

Besides this, it is the famil­iar Tenhi style. Idio­syn­cratic tracks with some folk influ­ences, but most of all, a rich, some­times dark atmo­sphere. While some artists have the power to accur­ately depict cer­tain moods or stor­ies, Tenhi always sounds more abstract. To me, it doesn’t con­jure up any par­tic­u­lar images. Instead, the music speaks to me dir­ectly, which is touch­ing all in its own way. Because of that, Tenhi is com­par­able to only a few other artists. All tracks on this album are very strong, but I like “seit­sensarvi”, “kuva­jainen” (a great instru­mental exper­i­ment) and “hien­synty” in par­tic­u­lar.

airut:aamujen shows that Tenhi, in between the two won­der­ful Väre and Maaäet albums, had enough inspir­a­tion left to pro­duce this little gem. An excel­lent album by one of my favour­ite artists of today, and recom­men­ded to all lov­ers of ori­ginal acous­tic music.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. saapuminen (2:24)
2. seit­sensarvi (4:35)
3. lävit­seni kaik­keen (5:44)
4. luopumisen laulu (5:39)
5. kuva­jainen (7:01)
6. oikea sointi (4:12)
7. kahluu (8:18)
8. hien­synty (7:34)
9. läheltä (6:49)

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