Time Traveller – Chapters III & IV

The “Time Traveller” is a very fitting name for this one-man project. Juhani Nisula is a relatively new contributor to space rock, but his sounds and influences span the past 50 years. Running from classic rock and roll to raga music, psychedelia, jazz and modern rock, Time Traveller takes these sounds and meshes them into one experience; a jam-like journey that will have lovers of the classic psych rock reeling in delight. Nisula’s instrumentation is strong, and the upbeat nature of his second album ‘Chapters III & IV’ is charming. All the same, the looseness of the compositions can often see the music float into the background.

Time Traveller reminded me of psychedelic kings Ozric Tentacles more than a few times on the record, but Time Traveller are a little more reserved hen it comes to adventure and spaciess. Although there is a wide array of sounds that Juhani is using for this project, it comes together in a fairly cohesive way. Listeners won’t blink twice when they hear uplifting sitars play within minutes of a blistering sax solo. To this end, ‘Chapters III & IV’ is an interesting album. The music never gets slowed down, and although the composition style is kept fairly loose and jam-oriented, the energy is kept upbeat and consistent. Juhani is evidently a strong multi-instrumentalist, although his true talent lies with the guitar. His guest musicians are also quite impressive, with particular regards to Peter Kivimaki’s tenor sax work on ‘Code 6360 025″.

Although some will rush to its defence and say that it is a tenant of the ‘space rock’ style, ‘Chapters III & IV’ is a little too aimless for its own good. The musicianship is admirable and professionally executed, but not once in the album did a particular melody or idea leap out at me, at least in regards to the songwriting. Instead of the musicianship being there to boost the writing, the songs seem only there as a vessel with which Juhani Nisula and company can strut their stuff. I’m not sure what they could have done to make it a more memorable experience, but adding a greater dynamic to ‘Chapters III & IV’ would not have hurt. Take Ozric Tentacles’ ‘Jurassic Shift’, for example. It was a loosely flowing record, yet it managed to stay captivating throughout. That’s not to say that Time Traveller does not grab my attention, yet despite the impressive sense of ambition Nisula has invested into this music, there were efw moments I was caught off guard.

Tracklist:

1 Entrance (0:30)
2 Reality Strikes (4:18)
3 The Black Hole (1:42)
4 Inner Peace (6:52)
5 Mind Wide Open (4:22)
6 Inner Peace (reprise) (2:13)
7 Code 6360025 (4:29)
8 Space Harvest (4:04)
9 Katós (4:31)
10 The Last Wave (8:20)

Line-up:

* Juhani Nisula - guitars, bass, Hammond B-3 & M-100 organ, Moog, Oberheim, Roland SH-3A and JX-3P synthesizers, Mellotron, clavinet, Crumar Multiman, Irish bozouki, tambura, drums on “The Black Hole”, assorted percussion, sound effects, voices
* Zeko Takamaki - drums & percussion

With special guests:

* Timo Ristila - Roland SH-3A on “Inner Peace” & “Inner Peace reprise”, clavinet & Roland Jupiter 8 on “Code 6360 025″
* Petteri Hietamaki - tenor sax & flute on “Inner Peace” & “Inner Peace reprise”
* Petri Kivimaki - tenor sax on “Code 6360 025″

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/aikatraveller

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