Kaseke - P?letus (Burning) / S?num (The News)

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Boheme Music
Catalog Number: CDBMR 008 154
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:34:00

P?letus/S?num gathers together the first and only EP and LP from Estonia's Kaseke which were originally released on Russia's Melodiya label. The music itself is progressive fusion, music that you can share with both your prog friends and your jazz friends. There's a tiny dash of ELP in there at times, just as I'm also brought to mind of John Scofield. Kaseke recorded these two releases in 1981 and 1983, the EP S?num coming first and featuring four tracks. Mel Huang contributes informative liner notes, tracing the band's history, and putting the band in the context of the 80s. Many of the band's members were also members of In Spe, Ruja, Mess, and Propeller.

P?letus (Burning) occupies the albums first 9 tracks, beginning with "Elevant/Elephant," a lumbering, muscular, bass heavy, guitar and keyboard led track. Here lumbering is used in a positive sense, as the percussion (Andrus Vaht) and bass (Priit Kuulberg) provide a steady beat for the guitar to play against and that strongly suggests the creature of the title - though I wonder which came first. There are some moments, too, where I thought of some of Tangerine Dream's jazzier moments. Kaseke featured two guitarists - Ain Varts and Riho Sibul

"Salajane R&otilda;?m/Secret Joy," is sultry, sexy, without being overly steamy. There's a hint of playfulness behind the "come hither" sound of the keys, a bit of coyness. Composed by Mart Metsala, this is one of his two compositions to the album, though he plays synths on all nine tracks. "Tantsija/Dancer" is the second of his two, which begins with an extended drum solo intro before the entire ensemble joins in on this guitar led track. It is here again that I think of Scofield, though I'm certainly not suggesting that there is any influence involved here.

" N?otused/Unsightliness" is an, at first, bombastic piece with heavy keyboard chords, giving way to sharp guitar and booming percussion, which itself gives way to a trilling flute (Peeter Malkov), played with the same kind of force that Ian Anderson often does. It is one of the rockiest pieces on the album. It ends as it began.

"Pikk P?evatee/Long Way To Go " is a shimmering piece that made me think of some of the better Italian progressive bands - Ezra Winston came to mind immediately, but those more intimately familiar with the genre will sure find other examples. Keys (Hammond, I think), guitar, flute all swirl together in a delightful and airy mix. The percussion here is simply fantastic, and the guitar is superb as the notes truly sing with lots of feeling. The track seems longer than its 4:45 running time, in that they pack a lot into a small span of time without it feeling compressed.

The track that stands in contrast to the rest is the angular, somewhat avant-gardish "P?mud Maa/Burnt Land". Harsh keyboards chomp across throbbing bass and drums, giving a feeling of barely controlled chaos, before the tempo shifts, the bass withdraws, leaving us with a very ELP like keyboards, hinting at Tarkus. But, this also features a very moody, lyrical, and dark keyboard passage about halfway in, where we note a touch of sadness. This composed segment seems very classical in feel, very?gothic, in some ways. This gives way suddenly to a lively closing of churning guitar and a slight medieval feel to the trilling flute that comes in towards the end of the passage.

The tinkling keyboard atmospherics of Tonu Naissoo are the focus of "Introduction" - the sound undulates, enveloping the listener in soft tones. It is here where the 1981 EP S?num (The News) begins, but if you didn't know there were two different line ups of Kaseke here, that the tracks date from different years, you wouldn't know. Well, not without making a careful study of the music. You must take advantage of the opportunity to do so, as Boheme Music has made this available on CD. See their web address above.

"Kala J?g Vees/Fish's Trace In The Water" is a melancholic, bluesy guitar number, though I also thought a bit of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. Though you know keys and bass are in there, the other main instrument is the solid percussion that is as interesting to follow as the guitar leads - yes, another album that bears repeated plays and I have done so.

Elevant/Elephant (4:17) / Valhalla/Valhalla (4:14) / Elevantsi Hirmulaul/Little Elephant's Song Of Fear (3:43) / Salajane R??m/Secret Joy (3:46) / P?letaja/Con Fuoco (3:36) / Tantsija/Dancer (5:48) / N?otused/Unsightliness (4:47) / Pikk P?evatee/Long Way To Go (4:45) / P?lemud Maa/Burnt Land (3:42) / Introduktsioon/Introduction (2:05) / S?num/The News (4:35) / Kala J?lg Vees/ Fish's Trace In The Water (3:30) / Laup?eval Koos Isaga/Together With Dad On Saturday (4:15)

Margus Kappel - keyboards (1)
Olav Ehala (keyboards) (3)
T?nu Naissoo - keyboards (8, 10-13)
Erkki-Sven T??r - keyboards (9)
Mart Metsala - synthesizers (1-9)
Peeter Malkov - flute
Ain Varts - guitar
Riho Sibul - guitar
Priit Kuulberg -bass
Andrus Vaht - drums

S?num (EP) (1981)
P?letus (1983)
P?letus / S?num (2000)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin RU

Added: January 1st 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 928
Language: english


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