Björkenheim, Raoul / Ecstasy - Doors Of Perception

SKU Rune 443
Raoul Björkenheim electric 6 & 12 string guitars
Jori Huhtala doublebass
Pauli Lyytinen saxes and wood flute
Markku Ounaskari drums

“I always felt there’s something special about having a band. An all-star session can be good too, but the thing I’m missing nowadays in jazz is really good bands playing together tightly, turning on a dime together, and especially improvising together.” – Raoul Björkenheim

Finnish-American guitarist Raoul Björkenheim and Ecstasy take a trip into the unknown with Doors of Perception, a session of kaleidoscopically inventive improvisation. The album captures an extraordinary working ensemble stretching into transfixing new spaces, settings defined as much by texture, vibe and sinuous melodic lines as by rhythmic and harmonic structures.
Ecstasy continues to expand its sonic palette. Over the course of seven years the musicians have forged a riveting communion. Capaciously inventive, rigorously gutsy and unapologetically Nordic, the music flows from the forbidding Finnish landscape and the hothouse Helsinki scene that gave birth to the band.
“The band has really developed during the last few years, getting to a point that I had hoped we would reach,” Björkenheim says. “We went into the studio with some sketches, but most of the music was created spontaneously, and you get a sense of this ongoing conversation. We couldn’t have done this five years ago. We didn’t have this kind of trust yet.”
One sure sign of the quartet’s deep connection is the way they distill ideas. Sequenced as a stream of consciousness train of impressions, Doors of Perception features 10 tracks that all clock in under five minutes. Rather than exploring extended forms or expansive soundscapes the music is marked by pithy statements and compressed drama. While Björkenheim is no stranger to long musical structures, he was after a different kind of narrative arc on Doors of Perception. Much like each piece is a finely calibrated aural microcosmos, the album proceeds from track to track with its own internal logic. “In a way it is countercultural,” Björkenheim says. “It’s an invitation to a listener to enter in the world that might be disorienting. I don’t hear a walking bass, is this jazz? It might be a little bit of a challenge, but it’s also an invitation.”
Both previous Raoul Björkenheim and Ecstasy albums were nominated for the Emma prize for best Jazz recording in Finland, which is the Finnish version of the Grammy. With Doors of Perception, Björkenheim and Ecstasy offer something all too rare these days, a musical journey in which the destination is unknown and unpredictable.

  • LabelCuneiform
  • UPC045775044323
Your Price $15.00

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