Aito (www.musicfinland.com/zetaboo)

Zetaboo, literally self-defined as a euphoric drug, is experimental folk/world/rock/jazz...they just call their style ethno jazz. In the end,
after ten plays, it is as winsome and amiable as those four faces or the boy or girl whose spirit smile haunts you still.

One aspect of Zetaboo is the sometimes wispy or scorching voice and especially the very abundant and melodic or at times discordant or out of step accordion of jazz "Jane-of-all-trades" Anna-Mari Kähärä. Värttinä regular and mutigenricist Pekka Lehti plays electro-and acoustic bass, also vocals, and another eclectic Värttinä veteran Markko Timonen sits drums and percussion, so some segment of Zetaboo is the music behind Värttinä. Ethno-centered jazz guitarist and composer (...of many of [MediZine]'s tracks) Jarmo Saari also plays keyboards, theremin and vocorder, and does some vocals.. Saari's bag of tricks should tip one off a little.

[MediZine] is finely crafted, melodic, and often accordion driven. Beginning with reverse haiku joiks and moving on to synthetic vocals, the mood softens smoothly yet swings schizophrenically. The rugged, theremin infiltrated "$$$" could be the film score for "James Bond On Jupiter." "Tonto" is reminiscent of Lhasa's "De Cara La Pared"; "Hiisi-Dickens" evokes The Progmatics (with whom Timonen has played) or Jimi Hendrix as polska. In "Gecko II," you've got the tropical, electro-voice of the vocorder and a lot of other stuff. Stuff is the word. Zetaboo has a lot of inventive stuff here. Somewhere on "Gekko II," the vocorder becomes a chicken's voice!

We warn you, no matter how friendly and ethno it all is, the word is still experimental. "We want to expand the boundaries," they say, and sometimes the melodies may seem meandering. The jazz and easy harmonies could send Coltrane resistors diving under the table at select moments. Not everyone will like this album, but then some will like it a bunch. - Judith Gennett

Audio ©2000 Aito Music, Finland, used by permission

The CD is available at cdRoots

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Hollow Ear

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