TSUUMI SOUND SYSTEM - EMMA AWARD 2009


The modern Finnish folk music band TSUUMI SOUNd system IS A EMMA AWARD 2009 Nominee IN THE BEST ETNO ALBUM OF THE YEAR category

Read album review by Folkworld:

Tsuumi Sound System "Growing Up"
Label: Own Label; TSS001; 2009; 13 tracks; 52 min

It's fun, it's funky, it's fiddle-led, and it's Finnish. Who else would it be?
If you've never heard of Tsuumi Sound System before, join the club - but prepare to be impressed. This eight-piece from the land of manic depression is on its second album, and whilst the core of their music is clearly Nordic they've collected a few other influences on the way. Growing Up ranges from the Arctic to the Middle East, skating and swirling through most European fiddle and accordion styles.
Six members of Tsuumi Sound System share the composing credits, not just the fiddlers and keyboardists, but also the sax-player and drummer. Natten vid Hagelberg is a charming air, and Valse Cinque mixes French dance music with irregular rhythms. Although every track is original, most of TSS's output is high-energy thumping polska-style dance music: the title track is a good example, as are Northling, Skyfixer, and indeed much of the rest of this recording.
Powerful fiddling, full throbbing accordion, a range of rock and traditional back lines, with double helpings of sax and cello, Growing Up is fifty minutes of excellent entertainment. The fiddling never reaches the demonic pitch of some Celtic players, but it's exciting and technically superb. The melodies have that dark edge which extends as far south as Scotland and Ireland but really has its roots in the troll-haunted ice caverns of Arctic Europe. The arrangements are modern enough to include jazz and techno, but traditional enough to be recognisable as relatives of JPP, Grupa, Varttina and others. The jazz funk of Sicilian Panda and Lau-like melting-pot of Rec 32 contrast starkly with the ebb and flow of Silent Mind and the gentle piano tones of the final Unknown Tomorrow. Not too manic, never depressing, stunningly skilful and a little out of the ordinary, Tsuumi Sound System was an instant favourite in my house: what will you make of it?
tsuumisoundsystem.com
Alex Monaghan, November 2009

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