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: discogs.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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