Friday, October 22, 2004

Jori Hulkkonen On The Sad State Of Finnish Music Journalism

Here's a quickie translation of this column by Jori Hulkkonen which appears today at the Nyt weekend supplement of Helsingin Sanomat and can be read in Finnish here.


The Electronic Bubble
- pop journalism without electricity

[Jori Hulkkonen, 22.10.2004]

Finnish pop journalism has returned, after a few more hopeful years, to the state that has always been taken for granted -- the Helsinki-based rock journalism.

Obviously the new writer generation, when writing for Finnish music magazines, has to legitimate their own place there by continuing along the conservative style of those mags. It is the outcome of either a conscious process, or then the starting journalists only try to be faithful to the assumed agenda of their employer or their perceived cultural Zeitgeist.

This trend that started a couple of years ago, has gone so far during this year that you haven't been able to find articles on electronic music or reviews even from those magazines specialized in pop music -- not taking into account some domestic exceptions or electronic rockers like Prodigy.

What has been most characteristic to these articles, though, has been their division in two. On the other hand, there's the naive lack of criticism towards electronic music coming from Finland. For some peculiar reason, domestic media has taken on the image of Finland being some sort of a New Mecca for electronic music, and that the last glimmer of hope for the dying genre is here amidst the Arctic
darkness.

On the other hand, it is not uncommon that all genres of electronic music are just made up into bundles, and it is all overlooked as a phenomenon that already had its heyday in the 90s.

It has to be admitted that this is quite understandable concerning Finnish marketplace that holds an emphasis with rock music. Local radio stations seem to have already lost the more alternative electronic music, and its future without open and critical press only seems hopeless.