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(47:02, Altrock Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Koik Saab Korda 6:19 2. Termiitide Tervitus 2:10 3. Veenuse Koopas 3:44 4. Kriminaalne Venemaa 4:36 5. Tagasi Tulevikku Ja Tagasi 3:00 6. Sai Ju Raagitud 4:34 7. Valteri Ohtlik Elu 4:31 8. Vahemalt 500 Noukogude Tanki 5:28 9. Algiers - New York - Luunja 5:43 10. Konstruktor 3:40 11. Spirituaal 3:17 LINEUP: Siim Randveer – guitars Lauri Randveer – bass Martin Tamm – drums Kaspar Aus – keyboards Mihkel Viirsalu – trumpet Henri Arukila – trombone Jane Povvat – saxophone
Prolusion. The Estonian band WRUPK UREI was formed back in 2004, but for reasons unknown it would take them a good few years to actually release any material. In 2012 they were ready with their debut album "Koik Saab Korda" however, and one year later their second full-length production "Teahupoo" was released as well, both of them digitally through the Bandcamp platform. The band appears to have attracted some interest after this, and in 2014 they signed with the Italian label Altrock, which reissued their first album "Koik Saab Korda".
Analysis. Apart from being highly impressed by the material on "Koik Saab Koorda", this is one of those albums that also leave me at loss for words in just how to describe the music I've enjoyed listening to. Not an uncommon experience when dealing with progressive rock admittedly, and in particular if the artist in question is among those who explore landscapes without any noticeable borders as such. That Wrupk Urei is an instrumental band is probably a good starting point. They do employ what sounds like voice effects fairly often, but then as effects. Sounds made by human voices, sometimes given an electronic treatment I imagine, but never used as vocals as such, but as sound effects and most often subtle ones at that. If they actually are sounds made by human beings or electronic effects made to sound like they have a human origin is probably a question one might ask of course. Looking a bit deeper than this detail observation, this is a band fond of making their songs short and sweet. Only a few stretch out beyond the five minute mark, and the archetypical progressive rock approach of employing multiple themes isn't a feature too common on this album. As is natural, given the length of the songs. A firm and compelling foundation of bass and drums is a typical feature throughout, with compact and intense bass motifs supplementing drum patterns of an easygoing as well as sophisticated nature. Not too uncommonly with a jazz-tinged expression, and fairly often with a defined role to maintain momentum, drive and tension. I have a soft spot for bands that take great care in crafting themselves a compelling, well made foundation of this kind in their material, and Wrupk Urei comes across as highly talented and skilled in this department. As far as the compositions themselves are concerned, beyond this core foundation, these are difficult to describe properly. Sax, trumpet and trombone supply plenty of surging textures, jazz-tinged motifs and striking dramatic effects. Electronics, effects and keyboards may chime in with cosmic effects, nervous light toned floating motifs or powerful organ surges. On a couple of occasions brooding organ textures indicating a keen familiarity to both vintage garage rock and bands like The Doors are utilized. Striking, interwoven brass and keyboard movements are another detail that merits a brief mention. The guitars may supply dramatic riffs, gentle plucked motifs or playful soloing, psychedelic-tinged guitar motifs have their place on this album as well, as do nervous or intense textured guitar motifs of the kind that comes with an automatic reference to post rock. A part of the whole totality is that the arrangements tend to be rather fluid, smoothly flowing back and forth between one and the other, with repetitions and variations to certain set themes just as much a part of the proceedings as songs flowing outwards and inwards in between key arrangements or themes. That there's a keen sense of optimism and joy in the grater majority of the compositions is another detail worth mentioning. That this is a band that finds it obvious to use sampled sounds of a pneumatic drill as an ongoing effect on the track Konstruktor should give some indications to the kind of creativity at hand, that this is arguably one of their least creative ideas as far as the use of effects go may be more revealing. The end result is a highly enjoyable production, a joyful positive and truly vibrant album of creative, innovative music. One of those albums that will give you endless frustrations if you attempt to confine them into any specific and narrowly defined category, as this is a band that doesn't care too much about common conventions and stylistic borders.
Conclusion. High-quality, innovative music that smoothly disregards genre conventions and borders is what Wrupk Urei explores on their debut album "Koik Saab Korda". Stylistic details from post rock, space rock and jazz rock are assembled and tossed about with a liberal amount of flavoring from both avant-garde progressive rock and various non-progressive styles, the end result a vital, vibrant and positive brew of progressive rock that belongs somewhere inside the avant-garde part of the progressive rock universe. If you have a taste for innovative and creative music that is fun, compelling and challenging, this is a CD that should be placed high on your list of music that merits a check.
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