Coming back from Finncon 2009, one of the things the very nice Finns I met did was thrust many CDs of Finnish music into my hands. Which was nice. Take Magenta Skycode, for instance, and their 2006 album called (I think) ‘IIIII’. Above average, this album. ‘Hands Burn’ has some lovely pigeonwing-flutter drumming; and though ‘People’ and ‘Go Outside Again’ are perhaps a little plodding, ‘Open Air’ is gorgeously spacious and ‘Pleasure of Love’, ‘Red Eyes’ and ‘This Empty Crow’ are the very best kind of guitarry pastiche-80s-janglegloom.
I’ve also had time to listen to Kaija Saariaho's Notes on Light, Orion, Mirage (2008); avante-garde classical, string-lead work [Karita Mattila soprano, Anssi Karttunen, cello; Orchestre de Paris]. It is a dislocating entanglement of music of extraordinary, evanescent beauty and music of a grating clashing tiresomeness. I need to listen to it more. Compelling and annoying braided together. A very striking musical sequence.