Matti Rag Paananen / HOROSCOPE
Horoscope is an Occult Jazz masterpiece from 1973, never before reissued on vinyl. In 1967, Matti “Rag” Paananen decided to compose his own vision of the Western astrological signs. Each one has its own composition on the 12-song theme album that was originally released in 1973. For the compositions he studied every astrological sign and made his own interpretation of how it would sound as music. Although the compositions were already made in 1967, they weren’t recorded until late 1972. The idea to make the record came from Seppo “Paroni” Paakkunainen who produced Horoscope with Ilpo “Ilja” Saastamoinen. Both of them also play on the album and contributed an intro and outro for the album (Space In, Space Out). All the songs were composed according to different characteristics of the signs. The subject is there in plain sight and Paananen pictures how it would sound as music. This approach gives the songs a very visual and yet individual nature, but at the same time the compositions and the arrangements are aesthetically coherent. This is what makes Horoscope so special and an album you need to sit down for. The album is very much in line with what was done in the 1970s Finnish music scene with its jazz and prog rock touches, but there really is no album like this. It sounds like a soundtrack to a bizarre, imaginary silent film from the 1970s in which different animals meet in a hazy jazz bar.