Juha-Matti Rautiainen has realized yet another striking work. Strong feelings are present throughout Still Water (40'49"), not measured out, but flowing, echoing the essence of the artist. The warm, rounded music brings light to a room. Traversing distances of thought, Rautiainen enters his own wilderness to reveal inner complications. We must listen closely, because there is a lot of life within these four tracks. In the inspired force of quiet softness this album comes off sounding perfect and effortless. Fully invested in making its own kind of magic in its own time the atmosphere of Still Water goes where words cannot. Unforced yet densely composed, it invites the listener along on a journey. An intimate stillness and fragmentary near-narratives infuse the story with a subtle spacey strength. As the stars wander darkly, then halt in the air, nothing stirs within the stillness of these depths. In a mix of harmonious designs and anomalous forms dreams emerge with straightforward emotional force. When bright tones give way to rumbling drones the listener fades. Even as consonance is eventually restored we feel unbound from within. Cycling steps of sequencer blips surface, circling the listening area on a pulsing electrical current. But further in the instrumentation gradually contracts. Once the mix of electronic sounds, bass guitar and looping textures dissipates Still Water is left with just the layered lament of a human voice - exposing the deepest disclosure this musician hopes to convey in his creations. This project may have served Rautiainen as a personal expression, or an internal exploration, but it belongs to all of us now - its shape and grace helping us believe that we live in a better world.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 5 August 2021