Tenhi
Airut: Aamujen


4.5
superb

Review

by bnelso55 USER (30 Reviews)
April 27th, 2015 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Finland’s dark folk shamans re-imagine their tonal palette with spellbinding results.

Re-released around the time of Tenhi’s seminal 2006 record Maaäet, Airut: Aamujen marks a substantial departure from the Finnish trio’s typical, folk-influenced progressive music template. Whereas previous outings centered on plucked acoustic guitars and employed an exotic array of techniques and instruments, including flute, cello, jaw harp and didgeridoo, the band chose to alter their foundation with Airut: Aamujen and winnow the instrumentation in favor of a stripped down sound. The result is a staggeringly successful 9-song set powered almost solely by drums, bass, piano, and Tyko Saarikko’s signature croon.

Despite the many changes, Tenhi’s familiar low-key approach is ever present. Moods shift fluidly from somber and pensive to bright and invigorating, staying beautiful all the while. Folk influences still appear, but instead of exuding darkness, they contribute to an overall sound that is more rich and abstract in focus than the band’s past works. The piano is the primary melody maker and it creates a pleasantly warm, yet shrouded atmosphere. Melodies are refreshingly simple, recalling Maaäet’s more piano-driven moments, and often display a surprising pop sensibility. The accompanying drums blend brilliantly into the mix with soft, jazzy touches whilst producing a much-needed pulse for the keys’ languid procession. The full-sounding bass further rounds out the music’s depth.

Highlights are numerous as the album touches on several styles. "Seitsensarvi", “Luopumisen laulu” and the gorgeous “Oikea sointi” embody the record’s more accessible side, while the tricky rhythms of the instrumental "Kuvajainen" and plunking tri-tones of the dissonant "Hiensynty" delve deeper into experimentation. Tenhi have always possessed the ability to conjure imagery in the mind and that remains true on Airut: Aamujen. The low talk-sing vocals may be an adjustment for some, although they do suit the album’s ambience.

Airut: Aamujen was originally conceived as a musical sequel to Tenhi’sAirut: CiwiEP and released in 2004 under the side project Harmaa. The two albums do feel tethered in spirit and the band fortunately saw it fit to re-issue Airut: Aamujen under the Tenhi moniker. The move seems wise, since it is bound to draw more attention to this exquisite record. This is recommended listening for lovers of innovative acoustic music.



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user ratings (51)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
bnelso55
April 26th 2015


1311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

http://tenhi.bandcamp.com/

Ok. With this one on the books, all of Tenhi's LPs should have at least one review on Sputnik. This band is top-notch, so it seems like something that needed to be done.

ComeToDaddy
April 26th 2015


1712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy shit that recommended section got me excited, it'll be a while before I get a chance but I'll spin this ASAP. Think this would be a good starting point for the artist?



Really nice review. The final paragraph felt a little stunted, but 100% convinced me to check it out. Pos'd

ComeToDaddy
April 26th 2015


1712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Seriously though, first time I've seen Nachtreich mentioned by someone that isn't Key. Fuck I'm excited.

bnelso55
April 27th 2015


1311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ Daddy - thanks for the feedback. I don't know if this one is the representative of their sound. It's still a great album nonetheless, but you may check out the other album mentioned in the review, Maaaet, if you want a better idea of tenhi's sound.

bnelso55
April 27th 2015


1311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nachtreich is overlooked like crazy. Excellent band. Nachtreich is more complex I think, but if you liked their approach on Trugbilder, you may enjoy this. The mood is not entirely dissimilar, imo.

DungeonBoy
April 27th 2015


4427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Another great Tenhi review. I do prefer their sound with more instruments, especially acoustic guitar, which is why this does not sit as high as others on my ranking. But still great! The piano on Saapuminen and Oikea Sointi gets me every time.

Digging: Skeletonwitch - Devouring Radiant Light

Archelirion
April 27th 2015


5561 Comments


So this is your completing of the set? Great work man, these past few reviews have been awesome to read and thank you for introducing me to a wonderful, wonderful band :')

bnelso55
April 27th 2015


1311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers Aaron - thanks! Im happy to learn these reviews did some good. Glad you are enjoying this music. Pretty sure the other full lengths have a review, so I'll probably stop here.



@ Dungeon - I agree. They are at their best when they bring in the other instruments. This doesn't top the other records for me, despite my rating. It is still a great experiment though and I find myself spinning this one quite often. What would your ranking be for this band's lps?

DungeonBoy
April 27th 2015


4427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Maaaet

Vare

Kauan

Airut: Aamujen

Saivo



to be honest Airtut: Aamujen and Saivo are kind of tied for me. Saivo is still an amazing album. The rerecorded version of Kielo on the Airut : Ciwi EP is one of my favorite Tenhi songs though.

DungeonBoy
April 27th 2015


4427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

what about you?

bnelso55
April 27th 2015


1311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice ranking! I might switch vare and kauan depending on the day, but I'd say Maaaet is pretty solid at the top of my list too. I still really like saivo and this, even though I would rank them lowest overall (4-4.5).



bnelso55
April 27th 2015


1311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Kielo is one of their best, I agree. That song is beautiful. I'm glad they re-recorded it. Top 5 material. I'd have to think for awhile before making a top tracks list though. These guys have so many excellent songs

titanslayer
April 27th 2015


2713 Comments


These guys are really cool, still haven't given this a proper listen

bnelso55
April 27th 2015


1311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This one is worth your time titan! Even if it isn't their greatest record, its sound is unique within the band's discography, especially "Hiensynty". That song is one of a kind.

titanslayer
April 27th 2015


2713 Comments


It's on my list now, cheers man

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 29th 2015


23656 Comments


meant to comment earlier but was busy. just wanna say you're doing a great job with these tenhi reviews, hard pos from me. I somehow didn't realize Vare and this both didn't have reviews. More Tenhi discussions is always a good thing : ]

Digging: Trampled By Turtles - Life Is Good On The Open Road

bnelso55
April 30th 2015


1311 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers atari! It's true. This band seems fairly under-recognized in most circles. Hopefully adding these extra reviews has drawn some attention to them. I think I may review folk aesthetic here in the near future as well.

Confucius
December 7th 2015


497 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is beauty in simplicity

CaptainDooRight
October 13th 2016


2421 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

finally getting around to listening to this



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