CD Review: Mäkkelä - Trad & Anger (2021)
|Picture Credit: Mäkkelä|
Artwork: Frisches Ufo vor der Stadt
There are two reasons why I commence this review with an unpacking video.
Firstly, Mäkkelä's "Trad & Anger" is a physical only release. You can order the CD on the artist's homepage, but there will be no Bandcamp, Spotify, TikTok, Myspace, whatever version. You find the link to the homepag at the bottom of the page.
Secondly, packaging, artwork, and design are just gorgeous. Each CD is packed by hand and comes with a unique stamp. The stamp on my CD is from former Czecho-Slovakia and once cost 120 Koruna.
Why a physical-only release you might ask? Forprofessional musicians such as Mäkkelä, a year without concerts and tours has been... let's stay special. And with special circumstances come special releases. "Trad & Anger" was not planned. But neither were many children in this world, and yet they are loved.
"Trad & Anger" is a collection of yet unreleased songs which Mäkkelä has played on his recent tours. Songs from the road, songs that transfer a Mäkkelä show to your loud speakers. Well, and there is that one song that needs further explanation. 'They're keeping a File on Me' tells the story of the artist applying for the German Federal Republic's support aid for artists and other self-employed people. It is a story about bureaucracy, about IT in Germany, and about Mäkkelä guitlessly facing allegations of fraud.
Mäkkelä's Folk Noir is a bittersweet, wanderlusty, and gorgeously melancholic mix of (Anti-) Folk, Blues, and endless passion. This CD is perfect company for a glass of red wine, but it also sounds great when hitchhiking through the scandinavian tundra on a rainy day.
The booklet of this 9-track CD is full of heartwarming and personal stories about each of the song which I don't want to go into detail too much. Mäkkelä enchants the hearing with guitar, harmonica, bouzouki, and his vocals that can partially be compared to those by Guy Kyser.
Guest musicians are Brickwater (backing vocals on 'Wayfaring Stranger' and 'Ship Repairing Men'), Pavel Cingl (violin on 'Wayfaring Stranger' and 'If the Flu ain't gonna kill Me'), Jonas Hauselt (drums on 'They're keeping a File on Me' and 'If the Flu ain't gonna kill Me'), and Rob Stephan (piano bass clarinet, accordion on 'Strange Fruit').
"Trad & Anger" is an album full of passion. The nine tracks invite you to close your eyes and dream-travel to distant places, such as a pub with live music. This physical-only release is a perfect chance to support manufactured music.