Let’s start this review with a quote from the artist himself: Music is a journey, not a destination. This album is, indeed, a journey itself! La Grande Illusion is Matti ‘la Yne’ Laine’s debut album. All songs are written by Matti himself, and there are several guest musicians contributing on the album. The music is mostly instrumental. This album is dedicated to Mick Karn, one of my favourite bassist who passed away too soon.
Matti was inspired by lots of different music styles from different parts of the world. This album is a big blend of world music… A nice, but also sometimes weird but surprising blend of music. It’s a combination of music styles that are typical for some countries or world populations/tribes and modern music elements. Every track on the album is different. The album is 39 minutes long, which is a bit on the short side but that doesn’t bother me too much! The production is very good too.
The album starts with the track La Grande Illusion – Ad Astra, which is also the shortest track on the album. It’s actually some sort of intro. Par Avion has a catchy beat going on and immediately shows a lot of musical blends. Third track Stigmata starts as a haunting track but after one and a half minutes the track gets more accessible. December 23 starts as a ska/reggae song, but not much later the track changes rhythm and style. La Porte De L’Enfer starts with a very sweet piano, which gets assisted by a lovely fretless bass. A beautiful track. Sixth track 5:15 AM is the longest track on the album. It is a track filled with a lot of musical blends, instruments, bits and pieces just like most tracks. Meiko is my favourite track on the album, which starts with a catchy piano tune. The music is very up tempo and I love the simple, yet powerful drums. Requiem is a short, haunting piece. The First Snowfall is a mellow track, followed by Unexpected, which carries the same vibe but is more up tempo. La Grande Illusion – Endos is the same as the first track, but after one minute there’s a short percussion moment.
You have to be fond of listening to different music styles on one album. Sometimes there’s a bit too much ‘blending’ going on for me, but I’m sure it’s just my personal taste. If you like experimental world music then this is the album you should have in your collection. I hope that Matti will continue giving us listeners more amazing music in the future!
**** Iris Hidding
- La Grande Illusion – Ad Astra (1:29)
- Par Avion (4:06)
- Stigmata (3:29)
- December 23 (3:03)
- La Porte De L’Enfer (4:36)
- 5:15 AM (5:15)
- Meiko (4:10)
- Requiem (1:42)
- The First Snowfall (4:11)
- Unexpected (4:13)
- La Grande Illusion – Endos (2:39)
You can listen to the track Meiko here: