28/02/2024Finnish Artist Ruttusound Fuses The Kantele With A Plethora Of Outernational Influences On Debut LP

Happy Kalevala Day everyone! Releasing today, on Finnish Culture Day, is this intriguing debut album by Finland's Sami Sammalkallio, who on this project goes by the stage name of Ruttusound. A singular project to say the least, this one absolutely blindsided us. A few weeks back, a colleague forwarded us a press info and download code via Finnish imprint Eclipse Music detailing this forthcoming release and we decided to give it a spin, not knowing what to expect. As you may have guessed by now, what we heard was so out of the ordinary, that we decided to add this longplayer to our extensive list of recommended listening from around the globe. 

Going by the name of "Tropikantele", Sammalkallio (previously a contributor to the ranks of Slag Brick Project and Sound Harvestigators) flies the Finnish flag high on this one, while including a plethora of outernational influences resulting in a exhilarating sonic soundscape that will keep listeners guessing. The title itself does this nine-tracker justice, a play on words that breaks this release down to its essence, being a rare if not unique combination of the traditional Finnish and Karelian plucked string instrument 'kantele' and the audible 'tropical' influences, exotic flavours that make this particular downtempo cocktail so tangy. Bridging "ancient and modern musical landscapes," "Tropikantele" is an immersive experience, marked by a certain simplicity yet flush with colour, conjuring dreamy panoramas and resplendent vistas that linger and set up shop in your mind. 

Exploring a wide range of rhythmic and melodic combinations, this instrumental work is both soothing and stimulating, meditative yet never stagnant, steadily finding new inspiration in the finest of nuances while revealing an unassuming complexity and increasing allure with each listen. "Tropikantele" is out now on Eclipse Music. You can stream the full album and watch the stunning companion video to "Oso" below. 

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom