Fiasko Records

Nuijamiehet reviews

May 2001

The Finnish quartet Nuijamiehet flirts precociously with a ruminating airy approach that echoes the classic ECM sound on its self-titled debut disc. Spacious arrangements often based on Finnish and other European folk forms are the common basis for their improvisations. There are points where the emphasis on space and clarity of collective sound detracts from the cohesion of the compositions as on the gradually unfolding "Taikatyttö" and results in rambling sterility. When the four crank up the communal heat however, as on the rolling groove of "Kelju Kukko", any lingering stolidity is often dispelled. Alternating from light to heavy sometimes within the space of a single piece ("Kelju Kukko") this is clearly a quartet still questing for an individual sound. But as an initial entry into what will almost certainly be a burgeoning discography the group is well on their way to finding their niche.