Release Date: Jun 16, 2015
Record label: Weird World
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Neo-Psychedelia, Chillwave
Jaakko Eino Kalevi’s 2013 EP, ‘Dreamzone’, was a suitably titled introduction to a dub-meditative world, inspired by the monotony and frustration of being a Helsinki tram-driver. In 2014, he released ‘Ying Yang Theatre’, an EP that perfectly balanced the mutant dance scenes of Berlin and New York, where Kalevi had spent most the year. Freedom from his former occupation has allowed Jaakko Eino Kalevi to develop his “dreamzone” into something more widescreen, though now, Kalevi is viewing in Technicolor.
Though Jaakko Eino Kalevi is the Finnish producer/multi-instrumentalist's official debut album, he spent years releasing albums and EPs that ranged from Modern Life's coldwave explorations to the disco-inspired Yin Yang Theater to the hazy pop of Dreamzone. Kalevi combines a little of all of these styles, and several more, into a musical portrait that deserves to bear his name; he even turns his moniker into a surprisingly effective hook on the misty opening track "J.E.K.," which sets the stage for the rest of the album's fog-swathed excursions. Thanks to his previous genre-hopping, he gives the album more range than might be expected.
Jaako Eino Kalevi's self-titled debut is a hazy, synth-laden trip through a beautiful dream. Kalevi puts a lot of emphasis on atmosphere, filling up space with extra vocal reverb and electronic fuzz. Though most of the record falls into the dreamy category, there are some darker moments to be found, such as the creepy, new-wave inspired "Deeper Shadows," which complements a sharp, pulsing bass line and some seriously mean lyrics — "No one cares about you and your things / No one cares about you" — with a light electronic flute sound dancing overtop.It's a cool record that coasts on chill grooves rather than bombastic drops.
Before his music career came together, you might have found Finnish electronic musician Jaakko Eino Kalevi—a dreamy sprite with chest-length strawberry blonde hair and a gaze like a pair of moonbeams—spending his days driving a tram around his adopted hometown of Helsinki. Knowledge of his day job might be a key to understanding the drifting spaciousness and fluid sense of his music. But really, it's hard to shake the impression Kalevi is one of those figures—like, say, Sébastien Tellier—who appears born into his role: a dashing synth-pop troubadour of Platonic perfection.
Author rating: /10.
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