AMN Reviews: Taavi Tulev – Kuku! (Self-Released)

a0556453714_2Hearing the call of the cuckoo immediately makes one feel at home in the forest, regardless of how foreign the forest. You can hear the cuckoo in so many places around the world that ornithologists classify them as “cosmopolitan.” Soundscaper Taavi Tulev captured his Kuku! in a national park in Estonia.

The cuckoo´s call means it´s daytime and everything is well in the forest. While all the other birds hold their Polish parliament, the cuckoo picks his spots. Each time he unfurls a new banner of calls, he sings from the same music sheet, cutting gracefully but authoritatively through the incessant, high-pitched chatter. Tulev´s straightforward execution is the quintessence of brevity as the soul of wit.

Kuku! comes in perhaps the most heartwarming packaging of the year, playful and interactive in a childlike, pre-digital way. The disc is only partly covered with the silver spot of music, adorned with doodles, and the cover landscape is drawn featuring only the basics, so that you can make it your own by choosing figures from an accompanying sheet of tiny stickers (birds, bees, trees, smiling clouds and a happy little boy). Take a close look, even the barcode on the back cover has been clevery incorporated into the art.

Kuku! won a silver at the Estonian Design Awards of 2014 for best packaging. Tulev´s previous release of playful electronics also deserves a standing ovation for elfish design.

Stephen Fruitman

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