TAL - Sapiduz [Öm-sound - 2022]
Finnish artist Tuomas A. Laitinen has released his debut album, Sapiduz, via Öm-sound. This eclectic mix of styles and sources is a hard one to pin down, but certainly worth putting the time into. Described as "medieval music played on an interstellar journey," this album presents many challenges to the listener but definitely rewards them for their patience.
WIth its genesis in vocal samples from Milla Mäkinen, Sapiduz starts off with a mix of vocals and chopped vocals resembling string instruments. An interesting take on chamber music (and likely where the quote from above comes), "Noizbiz" gives the listener a good clue of what's to come right from the start. Often chaotic, sometimes reflective, even sometimes danceable, Laitinen's debut only follows its own rules, and while sometimes that may be difficult, it makes the album more honest. Not to be confused with "noise for noise's sake," Sapiduz is difficult in a good way - what are you listening to? What is art? Comparing the first track to the second, "Organism," one can see the difference in styles instantly and TAL's scope begins to flesh itself out. To say this album is all over the place will come off as a bad thing, but it's really to the work's benefit. Like adding many colors to a palette or a different medium to a mixed media piece, these varied pieces help to shape the overall work in a way that traditional "stick to your guns" type of composition wouldn't do justice. The sampled vocals run throughout, having different uses and places within each track, and it's a really interesting way to look at a sound/sample and its myriad uses. Tracking vocal slices through the album upon additional listening sessions will bring one closer to the palette and the construction of the work itself.
Sapiduz is a really intriguing work and may take many a couple of spins to digest. The listener will be rewarded for their patience, and there are layers and layers to discover upon further playthroughs. While this works very well over headphones, I would love to hear it on speakers in a large room and see how the vocal samples open up more.Paul Casey