KALLE KALIMA & K-18 – Some Kubricks Of Blood


An engaging CD from 2009, arbitrarily picked among the gobs of eternally waiting promos. Finnish guitarist Kalima was so affected by a Stanley Kubrick exhibition fortuitously attended in Belgium that he decided to render some of the premises of the celebrated director’s films in sound. To this end he assembled a drumless quartet including saxophonist Mikko Innanen, accordionist Veli Kujala (who plays a quarter-tone instrument for the occasion) and double bassist Teppo Hauta-aho. Part of the music is quite exactly notated; other segments are instead conceived on the spot, with a distinct propensity to atmospheric creepiness in sinister environments. The initial impact of the opening track “Overlook Hotel” (of Shining renown) instantly made me mutter – perhaps superficially – the words “Univers Zero”, a brilliantly energetic melange of chamber counterpoint and dark-progressive hues. With the passage of time, the relationship between the close intervals of Kujala’s accordion and the oscillating lines of Innanen’s sax becomes the most discernible trait, an ingenious plasticity not frequently found in kindred units. The accurate itemization of a composite acoustic texture provides moments in which one manages to reach a level of relative absent-mindedness enhanced by the instrumental fluctuation. Focus for a minute on the single components, though, and not an inch of slapdash noodling is detectable. Au fond, a rationally devised, well-performed work that deserves more than just a “file under” dismissive note.

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