The new album, announced some time ago on the Facebook page of the itinerant Finnish multi-talent Ilpo Jauhiainen, was released last week on his Bandcamp page, with some tracks also being uploaded on his Soundcloud page and Youtube channel: entitled Arrival City, it takes its bearings, conceptually, from the “global metropolises where people all over the world migrate in the search of a better life,” in the words of the artist’s own liner notes, as well as from the “more invisible geographies created by people collaborating and connecting globally.” (These are formations whose emergence virtual systems such as Youtube and Soundcloud, whatever be their faults, have substantially facilitated.) Musically speaking, the record attests to his high regard for and love of the sounds of contemporary Africa, where he has often resided over the last couple of years, and in particular, as he goes on to explain, those of Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.
In my earlier article about Jauhiainen’s music, I included a foretaste of the album which he had posted on his Soundcloud page, the track “Rain 2,” and here I should like to recommend a few others as providing a fuller idea of what he has been up to.
Inspired by the abstract geometric paintings of Odili Donald Odita, with Veli-Matti Kimanen on electric guitar and a soundscape of Lagos contributed by Emeka Ogboh, Jauhiainen has constructed an “Odili Scape,” while in “Wild at Dusk,” written in collaboration with Kimanen, Wanja Kimani, and Gabriel Teko, the former again wielding the electric guitar and the two latter handling the singing and speaking, it is indeed an urban environment at nightfall, evidently as seen from a young woman’s point of view, of which the likeness is re-created in sound.
Moreover, the video playlist, initially so short, has been augmented with these two tracks and by another as well, “Lagos Space,” featuring the words and voice – the delivery is a kind of rap – of Diana Bada, which pays that city a tense rhythmic tribute.
Now that Arrival City has arrived, what will Jauhiainen’s next destination on his musical journeys be?