Review: Vaiko Eplik and Kristjan Randalu

20. April 2014
Jorge Poveda

Vaiko Eplik and Kristjan Randalu – just with these two names Estonia can be really proud of its music production. They make a perfect duo mixing pop style, classic/jazz piano and experimental ambient elements as voice and instrumental distortions.

The Marina Pavilion was presenting its best with sold out tickets and crowded audience. Everything was ready to have a great evening. I saw very surprised people when Eplik started to use the synth making distortions with his voices. Maybe they were expecting something less experimental, but the combination – with a more open mind in music – between the jazz from brilliant pianist Kristjan Randalu and the creativity and supreme voice of Vaiko Eplik made a unique atmosphere in the venue.

The feelings were mixed between Eplik’s melodic register of vocals, peaceful acoustic guitars or cosmic sounds with the synth pedals, and on the other side of the stage, Randalu making harmonic company and putting serenity but sometimes dissonances into the tempos of the songs. The truth is that the duo haven’t played or tried out together much, but it seemed as they had been playing half of their life together. They connected to a perfection.

After the gig Vaiko Eplik told that working with Kristjan is really easy because they have their own set and the music just flows. It was a pleasure to listen Eplik’s beautiful songs like Nõgesed, Hurraa!, Varielu, Homne Päev, etc; with the highly energetic and inventive piano style of Randalu and without the contribution of drums or bass. It was really entertaining music that will never create indifference.

The concert also had long instrumental parts were Eplik could show his creativity and multi-instrumentalist skill playing guitar, singing and mixing with the synth. He reached into audience’s heart and soul. He is a diamond in the international independent music. Pity is that the music industry closes many doors when you do not sing in English. For me, a non-Estonian speaker, Vaiko Eplik has been the best music discovery since I arrived to Estonia.

Randalu is free of this little “handicap with language” as he can expand his creativity and personality with piano everywhere. He demonstrate his technique for improvisation and clinical precision adapted to the compositions of Eplik. He has gained all this knowledge and skills studying in the best music schools as in Germany, London and New York, touring all over the world and including a Grammy Awards nomination in 2006. After the acclaims of the audience, Randalu and Eplik offered new material composed just before Jazzkaar. It seems they are continuing their musical project.

Estonian music scene has to be really happy to have this amazing duo in constant evolution. They are experimenting, creating new things to offer to the art and culture. Eplik said: “I am part of this culture, it will be a waste of human resource if I sing in English (with Claire’s Birthday or Ruffus) and I want to make many different styles that have never been done in Estonian language to make our culture more complete”.

Vaiko Eplik & Kristjan Randalu

April 19 at the Marine Pavilion

 

Band
Vaiko Eplik (vocals, guitar, synth)

Kristjan Randalu (piano)