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Band:   Mäkkelä & Orkesteri | CD (2009) MP3  myspace Real Media Stream
Release:   Means Nothing In Hitchin MP3   Real Media Stream
label cat.:    9pm 038 Infos:  JPG downloadPDF download
Buy CD:   Buy now Kioski Online  other Releases:  next release
- Means Nothing In Hitchin

At last, we're there! Mr. Mäkkelä, Mr. On-the-road, tuxedo-clad Finnish-German narrator of quirky stories, observer of all the little, daily tragedies of the ordinary people he encountered on his never-ending mission through the backstreet-venues of Europe, has completed his long awaited second full-length album. And we have to say: it has turned out a surprising one. Probably the most convincing material he has written so far. There have been major conceptual changes that helped to make „Means Nothing In Hitchin“ the great album it is. While his debut of 2003 and the follow-up ep were mostly track-by-track recorded by the man himself plus some friends/guests contributing bits and pieces here and there, this one features mostly his new band, the “Orkesteri” ladies. Most of the basics being recorded live at reknown Lone Star Studio in Nürnberg/Germany, the full band-backing adds an energetic aspect to the songs. It’s still, of course, genuine singer/songwriter stuff with a storyteller background. However, the band's influence has transformed these musical polaroid snapshots (or should we say “micro-novels”?) into an intense/expresive, but far rougher, indie-rock bastard.
An interesting – if not to say touching - moment of this album is when Mäkkelä bows down to two songwriter-personalities he met during the process of writing the songs of „Means Nothing In Hitchin“. Fortunately these two interpretations of songs by Geoff Berner (Canada) and Marko Haavisto (Finland) made it on to this album, highlighting Mäkkelä's skills of adapting songs in a unique way. Both songs easily fit in there as if they were original Mäkkelä songs.
The guest-appearances on this album ( Laura Ryhänen of Finnish-British tango outfit Uusikuu; Roger Winslet & Pete Brookes of Bidgie Reef & The Gas from Reading/UK; Jussi Nykänen of Lapland's very own version of MC5, Greenhouse AC) can definitely be considered just as brillant, underlining the character of particular tracks in a perfect way, adding an different and interesting texture to the album. It's been quite a way indeed from the first lofi-meets-singer/songwriter approach of the debut-album to the indie-tronic flavoured pop-anthems of the „Penguin ep“ to where Mäkkelä is now. And it was definitely worth giving this album more than three years to slowly grow into one that is coherent in all it's diversity. An album you could fall in love with. A touching one. Displaying a range from big POP gesture to 60s flavoured ease to sinister moments of contemplation. The booklet features liner-notes in English by Grae J. Wall (promoter in the UK and musician with The Trailer Trash Orchestra & Los Chicos Muertos; St. Albans/UK), and in German by HF Coltello(writer and musician with HF Coltello & Mutter; Berlin/Germany).

Current lineup:

Mäkkelä – guitars, vocals
Gisela Lipsky – keyboards, vocals
Michaela Ködel – drums
Silvia Cuesta - bass


01. Penguins Of Notting Hill Gate
02. Porch Song
03. My Northern Soul
04. Someone Like You
05. Christopher Walken Day
06. Volcano God
07. Saturday Song
08. Simple Birdsong
09. The Chosen Ones
10. The Boy With The Voice In His Head
11. Gabriela


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