Markku Peltola: Buster Keaton tarkistaa idän ja lännen CD


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Everything’s in Finnish here so we’re not totally sure where the band’s name stops and the title begins. We’ve heard from this Markku Peltola guy once before on the Ektro label, with a lovely disc in 2003 called Buster Keatonin Ratsutilalla. Now it seems that Buster Keaton is part of the band name? Of course the real Buster Keaton was a brilliant silent film comedian way back when, and it would seem that Markku Peltola, apparently a famous actor himself in Finland, is a big Buster Keaton fan. Beyond that all we know is that this music is all instrumental, very moody and pretty and sort of chamber-proggy. We compared the other Peltola disc to Penguin Cafe Orchestra and that still applies. It definitely makes sense that this was released on Jussi of Circle’s label, since some of this, especially the 13-minute “Juuri NÓin!”, sounds just a bit like Circle side project Ratto Ja Lethisalo. Also Peltola was a member of a weird Tom Waitsy Finnish prog outfit called Motelli Skronkle of which we know Jussi was a big fan (So is Andee, A Motelly Skronkle collection is forthcoming on Ektro!).
So, how to describe this? These songs are mild and melancholic, but also rather peppy. There’s strings and violin and acoustic guitar and sad horns and clip-clopping, tip-toeing percussion. It all has a sort of genteel, old world charm…nice nice nice. It could be a soundtrack to a quirky Finnish indie film, or the recording of the house band in some really hip cafe where the everyone sits around nodding and smiling wistfully and tapping their feet. We imagine the habitues of this cafe being well-dressed, wearing hats, maybe giving each other sly looks or staring dreamily into space, and perhaps spilling their coffee when the music suddenly gets nervous and frantic (which it threatens to do sometimes, but doesn’t really). Strangely irresistable.
(Aquarius Records)

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