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Top 10 Album Reviews (Archive)

Jul 14, 2022

Malla - Malla 

For the friends of: Louie Blue, Iisa and Moloko
Genre: house, electronic
Country: Finland
Year: 2021
Favorite track(s): "Miksi oottaisin", "Tilaa" and "Irti"
Emoji: 🦩
Random words: disco ball

One of the most interesting Finnish releases in a few years. This debut release resonates sounds partly from the late '80s but mostly from the '90s or early '00s. The dance/club sound is really well made and the vocals suit well in the arrangements. Some of the parts feel slightly too safe and all in all the album lacks a certain feeling of danger which would suit well with 'Malla's music.

I think that feeling could come by listening to these tracks live in a sweaty club or festival tent with some live band members and high volume. There is a just perfect balance between different tempos and atmospheres.

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The Good People & Milkcrate - Frost Writtens

For the friends of: De La Soul, Jurassic 5 and MF Doom
Genre: boom bap, old school hip hop
Country: USA
Year: 2021
Favorite track(s): "'Challenges To Succes", "My People" and "New Rules"
Emoji: 🧢
Random words: city streets

Well, what is there to say? The Good People did it again. The Brooklyn-based hip hop duo released a new EP produced Milkcrate a few months ago and again, it is full of brilliant beats, flow, and a good atmosphere.

This time some tracks are not so laid-back like what 'The Good People' normally serves, but rather melancholic. But there are still a couple of tracks bringing good summer vibes to the listener. This EP is just super pleasant, all tracks are worth listening to and it could even include some of the best "The Good People" tracks I have ever heard.


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Maa ilmasta - ISO YÖ

For the friends of: Saimaa, Gwenno and Kairon; IRSE! 
Genre: instrumental psychedelic rock
Country: Finland
Year: 2021
Favorite track(s): "Auringonpistos (Kotikonnut takauma)", "Päijänne-ilmiö" and "Iso Yö"
Emoji: 🏅
Random words: sky

Another mind-blowing debut album for this year. 'Maa ilmasta' is a new Finnish rock band and their debut album flirts with vintage prog rock and psychedelia while sounding just brilliant. There is a specific "winner" feeling in their music, something similar to Saimaa's Urheilu-Suomi or Siinai's Olympic Games.

The decision to mix all tracks together creates a beautiful world where the band's music leads the listener. I really recommend checking out this album! I hope to catch them live this year somewhere. Fingers crossed!


Follow Maa ilmasta on Instagram and Facebook


Khalab & M'berra Ensemble - M'berra

For the friends of: Tinariwen, St Germain (self-titled 2015), Kel Assouf
Genre: Tuareg, electro, psychedelic desert dance music
Country: Mali, Italy
Year: 2021
Favorite track(s): "Curfew", "Reste À L'Ombre" and "Moulan Shakur"
Emoji: 👀
Random words: bridge

I was so stoked about this album after hearing the two singles and M'berra did not disappoint me at all. I think there is just a perfect balance between Tuareg music and the futuristic electro beats and soundscape. It's great that the Tuareg music really stands out here and it feels that the electronic mix is there just to support and make it shine. But still at the same time, the production is also the essence of the whole release. It's actually better if you just listen M'berra and feel the desert breeze.

"M’berra is the sound, the story, of a collective of Malian musicians from the M’berra Refugee Camp in southeast Mauritania and Italian producer and electro-shaman Khalab. In a sprawling tent city rising out of the desert, out of nothingness, at the border with Mali in West Africa, brought together by spirit and circumstance, the group’s Arab and Tuareg members find solace and beauty in music and song." - Khalab Bandcamp


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For the friends of: Set Your Goals, Fever333 and Four Year Strong
Genre: metalcore, skate punk
Country: Japan
Year: 2021
Favorite track(s): 'WHO WE ARE' and 'GETAWAY'
Emoji: 🐗
Random words: skate park

Such blast energy with this debut release by 'FUTURE FOUNDATION'!! Even though this is the first release by the band, it's packed with experience. There are members from such bands as 'Crystal Lake', 'Shadows' and 'Noisemakers'. The best way to describe the band's sound is Blink-182 on steroids. All four tracks are full of energy and the whole band sounds really great. I love the variety and effects with the vocals. The whole EP is definitely a perfect morale booster. Really looking forward to hearing more from the band! Hopefully, this is not just a project


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Lxandra - Careful What I Dream Of

For the friends of: Adele, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles
Genre: indie pop, electropop
Year: 2021
Country: Finland
Favorite track(s): 'March', 'Glide' and 'Rabbit' 
Emoji: 🧊
Random words: universum

I remember hearing the single 'Glide' more than a year ago from radio and I immediately fell in love with the soft vintage sound of the song as well as the vocals. It's pretty common to have one or two great songs on a full-length album, but 'Lxandra' has really succeeded with her debut. It's not just one or two singles, but pretty much the whole album is super pleasant.

With a couple of tracks, less this would be close to a perfect pop album! I really like many of the arrangements because there are many small details and even surprises with a distant experimental vibe combined with more traditional pop music. 

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DJ Massimo - MZMO

For the friends of: X-ecutioners, Mix Master Mike and DJ Qbert
Genre: hip hop, turntablism
Year: 2021
Country: Finland
Favorite track(s): 'Kunnes telkien taa suljetaan', 'Dunning Kruger' and 'Pimees' 
Emoji: 🎚️
Random words: magic lamp

Scratching, turntables, deejaying. This album is all about beats and great flow. DJ Massimo has gathered some of Finland's best-known "OG" rappers. As a musical journey related to the beats, the album is slightly flat and could use a bit more variation. At the same time, I totally sense that the album is built on scratching and that whole style and when only thinking that I think this is really well-made piece of music. 2021 has been a really strong year already for Finnish music from many different genres! 

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Yelawolf & DJ Muggs - Mile Zero

For the friends of: Hopsin, Jedi Mind Tricks and Cypress Hill
Genre: hip hop, hardcore hip hop
Year: 2021
Country: USA
Favorite track(s): 'Wtf', 'Hand over Fist' and 'Harvest' 
Emoji: 👊
Random words: dirty

Never before been a huge fan of 'Yelawolf' and to be honest 'DJ Muggs' was the name which drawn my attention. I've realized during a couple of last years that 'DJ Muggs' has become one of my favorite hip hop producers of all time. 'Yelawolf's flow sounds great and most of the featuring artists make the album more interesting. I really like the balance between darker hardcore sound and more chill boom-bap selection. Give this album a chance even if you haven't liked' Yelawolf before!

Follow Yelawolf on Instagram and Facebook


Axecatcher - Tooth Over Claw

For the friends of: Rise And Fall, Vorvaň and Enabler
Genre: hardcore, melodic hardcore 
Year: 2021
Country: Ireland
Favorite track(s): 'Unblooded', 'Cliffracer' and 'Vehemence' 
Emoji: 👹
Random words: wrecking ball


The debut album of the band is a nice combination of melodic hardcore, beatdown and at parts slightly chaotic. There is a lot of energy in all of the tracks. I also like that the whole album is pretty much a punch in the face in the sense that there are not so slow parts. There is some variation in the vocals, which is pretty nice, but to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the most discant, high tone voice. Otherwise, the album is really solid! 

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For the friends of: Ceebrolestics, Chester Watson and Ill Chill
Genre: hip hop, space rap, chill rap
Year: 2021
Country: Finland
Favorite track(s): '6' and '66'
Emoji: 💮
Random words: light rain


I found this Finnish rap duo last year when they released '05'. The duo calls their genre space rap and it actually suits their music really well. I really like the beats and the production behind them. Everything is well in balance and the flow fits perfectly with the beats. Compared to '05' the new EP is slightly more chill and lighter.

Don't know if the duo would like to stay underground but I really think they should get a bigger audience what they are having. They have pretty distinctive sound and style but same time it's quite easy to approach. 


Follow OLPEKKALEV on Instagram and Facebook


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