Lampen is the Finnish duo of guitar hero Kalle Kalima and percussionist and sampler player Tatu Rönkkö. Lampen calls its music post-jazz, but leave aside such addictive description as the music of this duo is inventive, witty and playful, and clearly genre-bending. The duo’s self-titled debut album was recorded at Studio Zentri Fuge in Berlin and was released originally as a disc-only edition by Karkia Mistika Records in 2020. We Jazz new edition is on a Kintsugi Gold vinyl (adapting the Japanese 金継ぎ golden joinery art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum) and on all digital platforms.
Kalima and Rönkkö are experienced and imaginative improvisers. Kalima leads his own bands, has worked with trumpeters Tomasz Stanko and Leo Wadada Smith and sax players Juhani Aaltonen and Anthony Braxton, and is a member of the bands Kuu! and Z-country Paradise. Rönkkö has performed with such artists as Ilpo Väisänen (Pan Sonic), Samuli Kosminen (Múm), Nils Frahm, Efterklang, Raoul Björkenheim and Elifantree. He has been playing improvised solo concerts in people’s kitchens («I Play Your Kitchen») using only kitchenware found in each home as instruments.
Each of the five pieces offers a distinct, highly cinematic and suggestive soundscape, pulling you deeper and deeper with each listening and all feeling at home in the sonic neighborhood of the fellow Nordic Huntsville or the Australian The Necks. The opening, title piece revolves around a hypnotic but dramatic pulse and sketches a spacious, deserted landscape. «Grün und Grau» tells a completely different story, shifting from gentle and sensual to intense and raw and concludes with a meditative, caressing coda. Rönkkö’s otherworldly sampler’s sounds on «Dosen» color this unsettling and dramatic piece with nervous overtones. «Kerzen» (which was released also on We Jazz compilation Music for Ukraine, 2022) returns to the open landscapes, beautifully detailed by Kalima’s guitar lines and effects and Rönkkö’s percussive drive. The last piece «Stempel» offers a tense, futuristic soundscape with a noisy-industrial, stubborn grind, and stresses, again, the vast sonic vision of Lampen.
Kalle Kalima (g), Tatu Rönkkö (perc, sampler)