Monday, May 02, 2005

Eclectro Lounge 9: Die Elektronische Walpurgisnacht

After 7.30 pm on Saturday we had finally loaded records to Mika's red Lada, and headed for Apadana that is situated by the Sori Square near the Orthodox Church of Tampere. As we drove through the city, we witnessed the squares and streets filled with people celebrating the eve of Mayday ("Vappu" in Finnish); drunken teenagers, clusters of shiny tinfoil-covered balloons in the air, and the overall carnival atmosphere everywhere.

With the usually bleak Finnish spring weather, I've always found something perverse, if not downright masochistic, in Finnish ways to celebrate their Vappu festivities like it was some extreme sports. You see, it may be as cold as possible, even sleeting (if not snowing), but that doesn't prevent locals anyway to get out their funny hats, carnival masks and do some serious outside boozing and partying every year. In the northern climate that requires some serious sportsman spirit.

When we got to Apadana, and Mika started to set up his CD players, I found out that this time I had remembered to take my headphones, but had left the adapter home. AARGH! So again, a stroll for pHinn back home to fetch that damn adapter. Well, I can't ever have too much physical exercise... While en route, I checked out people's festivities on the streets, and it looked as chaotic as ever. I was thinking of The Who's 'Baba O'Riley' and its unforgettable lines: "It's the teenage wasteland". I thought it would be a suitable night to play that tune, but alas, I never got to do it.

Back to Apadana about 30 minutes later. We had decided to tape our mix sets to MiniDisc, and perhaps put them to the Web later on. Unfortunately, it turned out that my MD player was happy to record properly only one set from each, then it started to cut off power on its own, in the middle of recording. Aargh again. I've found out that my MiniDisc player is something of a diva, meaning it has its own moods and whims. Sometimes it records and plays music quite OK, but there are days when you get these unexplainable stops and breaks. Well, I decided to give the MD player a rest for the rest of the night. Because of all fuck-ups, I felt quite tense for the whole early night, but it seemed gradually the whole place filled up with people, and we managed to get even some action to the dance floor. It seemed 1.30 am, when the club was supposed to end, was quite a bit early for the party people, and Abbas, the manager, let us play one more tune.

We were invited by Ville and Alex of Slavic Walkmen to an afterparty in Pispala. Matias came along to show us the way, and we found out the place was a loft in an old industrial building, furnished into a lounge-like apartment. They had arranged a set of decks there, so we did both a bit of extra DJing in turns. That saved the night for me, since I always find these so called afterparties a dead bore: sitting on the sofa or floor at someone's home filled with a bunch of unknown people you don't have anything to say to, dull music playing, and everyone on the brink of passing out (or actually doing so) after a night of heavy partying. And usually never the lady action you were always looking forward to... Ahem. GIMME SOME ACTION! Otherwise let me go home. As said, I had this time my fun by DJing and some people there dancing to the stuff I played. Nothing unusual; some early-80s electropop to Bowie's 'Aladdin Sane' and 'Baby Please Don't Go' by Amboy Dukes on the Nuggets compilation. Mika played a bit more noisier and eclectic stuff: Aphex Twin mixed to Virtalähde mixed to some scratchy old M.A. Numminen 7"s. About 6 am, we felt ready to leave, Mika left me and my records to my place at Näsilinnankatu, and Sunday I spent mostly sleeping. I've never cared about the official Mayday action, people curing their hangovers with salty herring breakfasts, political marches and speeches, and all that crap. I have to say, though, that it was nicer this year to spend my Vappu by playing records; usually I'd have just been hanging around at Yo-talo, drinking beer and getting bored.

And here's the Eclectro Lounge 9: Die Elektronische Walpurgisnacht tracklist.

Pics:

DJ pHinn at Pispala afterparty

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