I'll admit - it took me more than a few listens to get into Paavoharju. I almost dismissed the album completely, but my readers kept insisting that I give it another whirl. And here it is, Laulu Laakson Kukista, opening its intricate secrets after careful observation. The crackles, the noises, the lo-fi magnetic tape manipulations dispel, and the inner beauty of modern classical marriage to neo-folk emerges. So how do I begin describing something that is indescribable. An assembly of illusions scratching at deep rooted memories of childhood, a collection of conflicting elements settling into a unique pattern of a snowflake, a kaleidoscope of loose material patched together into a summer dress that is being hung up to dry in a sunlight by a humming villager. Between the digital artifacts and purely organic ambient hymns you find something... spiritual... revived through simplicity of a pure song. And after a few listens it is that song that draws you closer towards Paavoharju's mystical sound. Laulu Laakson Kukista is the second LP from a collective of Finnish born-again Christians (!) initially organized by brothers Lauri and Olli Ainala. Their first LP, titled, Yhä Hämärää, came out on the same label, Fonal Records, in 2005. The group is not a stranger to the scene, and since their debut, Paavoharju landed an EP on Miasmah as well as a 7" on Type Records. It's nearly impossible to draw a comparison between Paavoharju and any other artist, but if I was pressed, I'd perhaps point towards the abstract experimental and psych-folk work from Boards of Canada.