Queen Of The Wave
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Queen Of The Wave is the startling new album from Pepe Deluxe. It’s an esoteric pop opera that’s a totally unique proposition, thematically based around the mystical 19th Century novel A Dweller On Two Planets which was supposedly channelled by its American author, Frederick S Oliver, from a cosmic entity called Phylos the Thibetan and concerns life in Atlantis and on Venus, sci-fi futurism and reincarnations.
Queen of the Wave runs rampant, from a Hammond and wine glasses -funk ballad “Queen’s Wave” to the Bassey Bond theme-esque “My Flaming Thirst”, from the Duane Eddy big beat of “A Night And A Day” to the Wagnerian choral explosion of “The Storm.” All of the above is interspersed with gorgeous moments of languid beauty that take the pace right down.
The album continues the obsession of Pepe head honcho Jari Salo (aka James Spectrum) with bizarre and old technologies including an Edwardian telephone amplifier, a lethal 500000 volts Tesla Coil Synthesizer, a hidden “thunder” effect on a baroque pipe organ and even a thing called “Psychical Predictor”: an electric apparatus designed for contacting “the other side”!
For Queen of the Wave, Jari, who has been the band’s beating heart since its inception in the mid-nineties, was joined by the long time musical collaborator Paul Malmström, a Swedish ex pat who writes tunes inspired by exotica, space age pop and bachelor pad music in his penthouse apartment in lower Manhattan.
The reason this fourth album has taken so long to emerge is mainly due to the pair’s discovery of and subsequent obsession with the The Great Stalacpipe Organ, the world’s largest musical instrument. Built in 1956 in an underground cavern in Luray, Virginia, the organ involves a keyboard triggering rubber-tipped mallets that strike stalactites to create music throughout a cave system. Jari and Paul waited patiently for six years while repairs to the organ were undertaken and permission was granted. Paul arrived at the cave dressed in a white tuxedo and bow tie to lay down the beautiful instrumental “In The Cave,” the first original composition ever recorded on the organ.
This was the last part of the jigsaw to completing this epic pop opera. Other puzzle pieces to Queen of the Wave included extensive collaboration with a host of musicians such as Samuli Kosminen of Múm, master heavy metal drummer Kai Hahto and the Czech Film Orchestra, as well as a panoply of vocalists from every conceivable background: vocal group Club For Five, opera singer Kirsi Thum, Moomins actress Sara Welling, Australian rocker Boi Crompton and Bostonian Chris Cote, whose main band, The Upper Crust, perform dressed as 18th Century aristocratic fops.
Queen of the Wave is unlike anything else around – truly original late 60’s sunshine pop from another dimension where Kennedy wasn’t shot and man is building colonies on Mars.
Jari and Paul are donating all the profits from the sales of the album to John Nurminen Foundation to be used in the Clean Baltic Sea project. The aim of the project is to protect and achieve a visible improvement in the condition of the Baltic Sea, one of the most endangered and polluted seas in the world.