Puna, recorded in bedrooms, studios and other salubrious locations around Helsinki during 2022, is a mix of lo-fi spiritual jazz, experimental, and avant-garde music forms. It includes four vocal tracks recorded with Merikukka Kiviharju, which feature both original lyrics and those sourced from traditional Finnish folk songs.
With a background in electronic music, Vauhkonen explains his transition into avant-garde / spiritual jazz: “It came from Krautrock first, I started listening to Can, and searched through all the psychedelic German rock bands. There was a lot of jazzier elements there, horns and saxophones, I think it came from there, and then I found Miles Davis and John Coltrane (and) started listening to the early Sun Ra material.”
Puna features the interplay of vocalist Merikukka Kiviharju (Fat Chance, Jazzgangsters) on tracks ‘Puna’, Kaiju Kaiija’, ‘Kuinka Kukaan’ and ‘Calamity Caravan’, matching with the intensity of Johannes Sarjasto’s saxophone, and Staffan Södergård’s piano. The album, like previous releases is built around Vauhkonen’s propulsive drumming and Philip Holm’s upright bass that provides the band with its forward momentum. Johannes Sarjasto’sflute, so much a part of previous Oiro Pena group recordings, also features on this release.
Puna was mastered by Noah Mintz at Lacquer Channel Mastering in Toronto. Artwork was created by Riina Tanskanen and layout completed by Steve Lewin.
Antti Vauhkonen: Drums
Johannes Sarjasto: Saxophone, Flute
Philip Holm: Double Bass
Staffan ”Wolf” Södergård : Piano
Merikukka Kiviharju – Vocals