Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

Kaspar (Finland) – Clear (single)

Kaspar had an unusual beginning. The duo formed 20 years ago after meeting when they (John McGregor and Mikael Hakkarainen) sat next to each other at a lecture about free will. Now you could have a philosophical debate about that couldn’t you? Is that an example of an outcome of the exercise of free will or just plain luck? Discuss.

John is known for his career as a solo artist in Finland. Mikael has also released four albums of his own so they come with a pedigree and one that is further enhanced by a story from their US tour following the debut album release in 2009 when a Texas cop told them he’d witnessed the best show since U2 back in 1983.

They’ve always been respected for having a distinctive sound and have carried it over to this belated new release which they say concerns “a moment of total clarity in life” without explaining that remark further.

Listening to the song and watching the video won’t give you much of a clue either. I can’t decide whether it is representative of a dream, or a trip, or something in between, or none of those things. It’s all a bit 1970s and Procul Harum, skipping the light fandango but with a 2020s twist, minimalistic and ominous but in an enlightened way.

And it is the first time and surely the last, when I will hear a song in which some messing about on a theremin turned into the beat, and a complex one at that.

It is ‘experimental’ and therefore the sort of music which doesn’t always appeal to those who prefer form, structure and, yes, clarity I suppose. The VCBs and the ABACABs as they might be known.

For anyone with an iota of individualism about then it will be right up their street.

‘Clear’ will be released on the Soliti label, to which they recently signed, on 23rd February.

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