While there are many false dichotomies in this world, the truest of all dichotomies is Rad vs Not-Rad.
James Reipas is rad. The raddest of the rad.
James Reipas is the cornerstone and dictionary definition of rad.
Do you listen to music?
James Reipas is better than whatever you listen to.
Do you write music?
James Reipas is better than what you write.
Do you like fun?
Then you must like James Reipas.
James Reipas, unfortunately, is probably not going to match everyones ideas of what constitutes rad. This is of no fault to you, the ignorant -but lovable and good hearted- reader. James Reipas is probably unknown to 99.9999% of the USA and anyone who has heard them might not know exactly what they are delving into. I will do my best to describe some of it for you, but this is going to be hard and I would recommend checking out their website for music samples. It’ll be worth the bit of effort.
James Reipas is not a person. In fact, James Reipas is three people. Although, deep down, I think James Reipas is truly a god who uses three people as pawns as a way to unleash his power and glory unto the world. The best way for me to describe James Reipas is Psychedelic-ethnic-gospel-folk-trance. James Reipas is a three person live band. There are horns and wind instruments, guitars, bass, some vocals and great danceable percussions and rhythms. Some stuff sounds all computerized, others are definitely not. The music is mostly inspiring and gives off an emotion of perseverance and triumph, but not in a cheesy Astral Projection sort of way. The music feels real, not digitized, probably because most of it is played live. Live. I really wish that I lived somewhere over —>
Then I could see James Reipas live. That would be epic. I would be stoked. The three-person live James Reipas show. One day my dreams will become a reality. *sigh*
Anyway, James Reipas’ first album came out on Demon Tea records in 2001. It came out at the same time as the excellent Nam Shub of Enki album ‘Fuck Piece’ and when I got the two albums, I was so absorbed by Nam Shub that I nearly forgot about James Reipas. A little time passed and I pulled out that first album ‘This is not Fashion’ and started journeying into the unique and fantastical world within that album. One thing that really struck me with that album was that it was completely unlike anything else. The album was hard to DJ with, but it was a definite album for my home and car.
A few years passed and in 2005 James Reipas released their follow up album “Uwaga’ on the great Freakdance Records. That album, much like the first, captures a snapshot of a world no one else travels to. I don’t know where this mythical Reipas world exists (possibly reachable through a portal in Finland) but it is a world filled with Rad. That second album reaffirmed their level of awesomeness in my mind and set a very high standard for other music to live up to. It has been over three years since that release and very few artists come close to matching the wealth of music on those first two albums. With the release of their newest album, the world has even more to live up to now.
‘Personal Trainer’ is their newest album in their perfectly rad catalog. I am amazed that there isn’t more music like James Reipas, but there simply isn’t. I find the occasional track here and there, but James Reipas has three album of unmatched musical radness. All three albums sound like a James Reipas album, but they don’t get repetitive at all. Each James Reipas track has enough structure and progression to fill an album. Then they make an albums worth of album-dense tracks and a brain can almost get overloaded when listening to it. Then they release a new one every 3 or 4 years and now the structure of the universe is in jeopardy because the cosmos isn’t meant to handle this amount of greatness. A greatness and wealth of blissful electronic folk music that I am very excited to have fill my brain, even if it means that the world will collapse upon itself.
I have a feeling that ‘Personal Trainer’ will become the theme music for my summer. Warmth, groove, psychedelic, organic, full of love and unique radness.
If only I could vote for James Reipas this fall, I would make James Reipas my president.