FROM GROTTO & NIILO TAKALAINEN: Noita Live Stream @ Amaze, 23.07.2020

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Having released the second half of the official soundtrack to Noita one month ago, the team of psychedelic/stoner rock band From Grotto and Niilo Takalainen were able to share a live iteration of their combined sound thanks to Amaze Berlin. The stream took place at midnight on July 23rd, 2020, and seeing as how we enjoyed the albums so much, we decided to stay up and tune in.

 

In keeping with what is becoming the constant with live streams, this performance opened with a muted stage partially obscured by some trippy blurred light effects – appropriately psychedelic for a night of stoner-esque shamanism. It took a little longer than anticipated to get everything prepared. As such, the stream was 10 minutes late getting started.

One of the band members introduced the show quickly and then an ambient soundscape began to form. The music wasn’t immediately recognizable as “Kick the Cart!” or “Daddy Long Legs Surprise,” the memorable and distinguishable early tracks from the two releases. Rather, the entire performance felt a bit like a professional jam session with added ambience by several of the band members on a variety of different effects. Here was some tinkling of bells, there a gentle tapping of wood blocks, a touch of warbling effects… anything and everything goes, yet it all came together to create a haunting and mysterious final product, layered overtop of the bands’ instrumentation. While From Grotto vocalist Joonas Turner didn’t say much (and didn’t sing at all, as per the soundtrack), the band seemed to be having a lot of fun, grooving into the zone and hardly stopping to take breaks, and of everyone, he was the most alive and in the zone as the main contributor of random effects and sounds. Drummer Pekka Takalainen kept up the jazzy drums while shaggy bassist Riku Hyötyläinen kept things funky. Guitarist Antti Pasonen wasn’t as forefronted in this sound as he might otherwise be in their standard psychedelic music, yet he played his part with the eerie guitar lines and by joining in with Turner in the ambient sounds as well – I noted that he was using a percussion frog to add some wooden tapping sounds at one point.

 

While the setlist is a mystery as this was a semi-rehearsed jam session, this was nevertheless a fantastic hour or more of a magical, mystical, shamanistic soundscape, perfect for listening in the background or for some active psychedelic fun. It’s a rare thing, to experience a live performance of a game soundtrack by the band who made it, so this was an unusual and exciting event, and luckily for us it definitely lived up to our hype.

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