As someone who regularly talks about the forests and green aspects of Tampere, Finland, I also acknowledge that there's another side to the city. Industrial spires rise in the cold blue air and spew black smoke into the skies. This cold, sterile part of the city is a major aspect to its functionality as a Finnish meteropolis. However, most of the music coming out of Tampere that I know and love focuses on the other side - the mystical forest gnome dances. Bands like Avarus, Kemialliset Yst?v?t, Master Qsh, and others, all embody this; it's engrained in their bones. And then there is Uton. I have long admired the cryptic sounds coming from the Haamumaa HQ, and Uton has never failed to explore a variety of landscapes with his music.
"xxx" burns down the forests and passes out on the charred ground. This is desolate music. In these glacial explorations, Uton reminds us of the industrial districts of his home city. The first track isolates the wail of machines and stretches it to infinity. Harsh edges are sanded off to minimize the damage done to your eardrums. Feedback scrawls are looped around and pulled tight, making this a greasy, cohesive mess.
Within this black goop arises an interconnected beauty. By the time the gurgling glow of the third track emerges from the burning steam, you are completely drawn in. Underneath this high frequency hum is chaos, always looming, always present. But it never overtakes the piece. The glossy finish is always at the center of your attention; keep your focus there, you won't be lost or destroyed. Magic happens here, but in a different, manmade way. Inside these massive factories, creation is taking place. Each hand that works each machine, putting parts together, is like its very own god of creation. Instead of seven days, this process lasts forver.
Uton's "xxx" is a subtle reminder that within every place, there are dichotomies at work. In order for these forests to thrive and exist in Tampere, it needs the industrial complexes to produce the goods that fund the parks. It's a modern circle of life, and without it we would no doubt be lost. These archaic drones show another side of Uton, and prove that he is capable of performing at high level within any context. This is perfect for those cold winter nights as it aurally depicts everything that they are. 7/10 -- Brad Rose (25 May, 2005)