Year of Release: 1997
I've been through the Kalevala story already in detail in this entry here, and that really gives you all the background you need. Ostensibly, these weren't records by 'real' groups as such, but disguised fantasy outfits created by Bill Drummond of the KLF to weave a peculiar narrative around the bewitching cultural niche of doomed, obscure bands and independent records (I can't see what the allure is myself. Whoever would waste a lot of time thinking about that, I wonder?)
Of all the releases that crept out on the bogus label, this for me was really the finest, and also the one where the mask slipped the most. Even in the press release, the fictional group were mentioned as being influenced by The KLF's "Chill Out" album, possibly one of the few instances in music history where an individual has listed his or her past work as the main influence on a record. The chirping crickets and Deep South Americana of "Chill Out" are here replaced by an icy, arctic kind of ambient soundtrack which in its own brief way is as wonderful as anything on that record. And in truth, Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac is a clear influence on this too (as he was on the album). With its pounding drums and plucked strings, this is "Albatross" beginning an uncomfortable flight over the tundra.
Unless somebody - and that 'somebody' is probably only Drummond himself - knows better, this also counts as being the last piece of original material he released. As an exit point, its hopeless obscurity (only 500 copies were ever issued) damns it to insignificance, and yet it's a far better resting point than "F--k The Millennium" ever was. If you want to push an analogy to breaking point, those pounding drums and icy blasts seem almost funereal and the noise of a natural end of something, whether that would be the concept of Kalevala - this is the last single 'they' issued - or the terminus of Drummond's recorded musical career.
This record was never really intended to be heard by many ears and I suspect Drummond is frustrated at having his plans thwarted, but it's already done the rounds on the Internet several times over, and I have no desire to let it die. It's too good for that.
I've placed "Part 3" first in the Box below as "Part 1" is really just one long, Finnish spoken word introduction - and if anyone is capable of translating it, please do let me know - but if you want to listen in the order of part 1 and part 3 (part 2 is missing entirely), that's up to you.