Sometimes you come across a band you hear for the first time and it hits you like a bolt out of the blue. Northbound does that. In fact nothing is really new these days, but this band has an amazing and inspiring freshness, catching you with their very first note. Already a huge amount of followers and fans share the “Northbound” passion. Particularly surprising if you consider that “Landscapes of Nowhere” is their first album, released on Lemongrassmusic.
Northbound. The name implicates Northern Europe membership. And likewise is their sound. It has the rough but warm-hearted charm of Northern landscapes and their inhabitants. But the sun seems to shine more often at Northbound studios, because “Landscapes Of Nowhere” got an overall life-affirming appeal. The ever present strong will to live even decorates melancholic moments with a golden shimmer. Northbound’s songs are masterpieces with an enormously variable, colourful instrumentation embedded discreetly by electronic sounds and grooves. Astonishingly each song is perfect in itself with loving attention to detail. And so is the album.
While listening imaginary pictures of a 20pieces band, perfectly meshing with each other, may take form in your mind. You will be surprised to hear that Northbound is just 2 guys plus a bunch of very well selected guests musicians. Mikko Roisko and Olli Jäderholm are from Finland. They started making music sometime in the early years of 2000. Heavily inspired by labels like Ninja Tune and Tru Thoughts, artists like Bonobo, Herbaliser, Hint, and TM Juke became their biggest musical sources of inspiration at the time. Early on they discovered that it is much more fun playing instruments themselves, rather than relying on samples. Even though samples were used, their approach is to build songs around their own melodic and rhythmic ideas. By acquiring a heap of unusual instruments such as Melodica, Glockenspiel, Banjo and several Percussions their very own unique sound took shape.
An important addition to the album are Northbound’s guest musicians. The lovely vocals of Venla Saartamo, which were utilized on few tracks. Brilliant violin & cello playing sisters Tuikku and Sarianna, and unbelievably talented sax player Antti Hynninen (Auteur Jazz, The Irrationals). On top of that the wonderful London-based rapper Rupert is doing his thing on “Fallbreak”. They all suit perfectly in service of Northbound’s musical expression. With pretty and haunting melodies combined with organic beats “Landscapes Of Nowhere” is like a fresh breeze to the Downtempo Electronica scene. So be inspired. Enjoy listening.
Digital Release Date: April 20th 2012
Catalogue number: LGM 095-4
Label: Lemongrassmusic – LC 12644
Artwork by: Fthrproductions (Finland)