Nielu is a meticulously crafted nine-piece journey through sonic landscapes ranging from abysmal depths to gleaming peaks. Textural ambience, drones, manipulated field recordings and noise elements are supported by traditional instruments like violin, piano, organs and guitar. Vocals (in Finnish) are sparse but play an important guiding role in some of the main conjunctions of the album. Each track has a distinct story and are all quite different from each other, yet form essential parts of a whole. Diamond and dirt, ice and fire, stone and water all merge to conjure an extremely visual listening. Nielu is best experienced with headphones in an introspective setting.
Nielu was chosen by A Closer Listen as one of top 10 experimental albums of 2015 (bit.ly/2c909yj), and was featured on Fluid Radio's adventurous Scandinavian releases list (bit.ly/1Q84iRh).
Snippets of some reviews Nielu got:
"Many albums claim to be experimental, or distinct, or impossible to classify. Lautturi is humble enough not to make such claims, but he’s the real deal. He clearly follows his own disturbed muse, and seems beholden to no one. "
(Also includes interview and video premiere)
"Nielu is an album that took my attention and held it in a way that few other dark ambient albums have achieved. I think the mix of real instruments and vocals with the more atmospheric nature recordings and electronic sounds just creates such a textured arrangement of audio that it feels like you are hearing something that you might not be allowed to, something not meant for mortal ears that has slipped through from somewhere else. That might sound grandiose but it’s how I feel."
"Maybe Utu Lautturi is a musical genius because what he created is mindblowing. By exploring the boundaries of music and blatantly crossing them he turns simple-hearted dark ambient into an elaborate piece of highly effective experimental music."
"Utu plays almost everything himself including many acoustic instruments such as piano, guitar, organs, yet he arrives at powerful and eerie-sounding drones, perhaps through use of processing treatments, but mostly I assume through his introverted, meditative stance which allows him to refract the world through the mentality of a religious hermit, such as John of Patmos, contemplating God’s plenty with the all-seeing piercing gaze of a hawk. There may be even be a semi-religious aspect to his preparation method, if the phrase “several years of ritual work” means anything…one has visions of cultish rites enacted under occluded moons at dead of night, perhaps involving wearing the pelts of certain animals…aarroooh!"
"Nielu is challenging, by design. It requires patience and an open mind. Lautturi’s work has the ability to just about drive me away before making me need to hear a little more. I would recommend Nielu to listeners with very experimental tastes, or for those who need something extremely visceral. You can look quite deeply into this work. "
released January 31, 2015
Composed, recorded. performed, engineered and mixed by Utu Lautturi.
Mastered by Jaakko Viitalahde at Virtalahde mastering.
Violin on tracks 1,3 and 6 performed by Valo Lankinen, arranged by Utu Lautturi.
Artwork and layout by Utu Lautturi. Gutterbeak bird illustration by Janne Martola.