Kuupuu (4 stars)


Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh, Mon 17 Sep


There are Moomins on the poster, and something equally other-worldly about Kuupuu’s fractured folk tones. Having wafted all the way from Tampere, Finland, they sound still swathed in dawn mist, so nursery rhyme eerie is Jonna Karanka’s set of organically generated loops’n’layers. Karanka is a key figure on the Finnish underground, with a web of aliases and collaborators, from her own Kukkiva Poliisi moniker to all-female acid-folk trio, Hertta Lussu Assa as well as previous experience in Avarus and The Anaksimandros.

Beyond such a mouthful, a black-clad and gamine-looking Karanka stands before a table-top of lo-fi kit, from which she pieces together a mesh of low-key, ice-breath whispers, fuzz, fog, bird-song and incessant percussive skitters to make for a fractured collage of woozy kindergarten sense memories made flesh. At times it sounds like a little army of Trolls digging their way out of the earth’s core accompanied by a spectral goat-herd, bells round their necks clanking out swirling lysergic cascades to guide them home. Treated voices blow hot and cold on a strangely immersive experience suggesting quietly frosted magic in the air. Brrr.

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