Sunday, December 31, 2006

Two Double-Oh-Seven

Exit 2006

Enter 2007

"I was dreaming when I wrote this, so forgive me if it goes astray..." -Prince

2006 saw many crucial changes taking place: some dictators passing (Milosevic, Saparmurat, Pinochet, Saddam -- good riddance to all of them, though the nationalist fans of those in their respective home countries probably might disagree); more sadly, many musical & lyrical legends were gone too (Barrett, Lee, Brown, Leskinen, Laine). And not to forget the shameful murders of Anna Politkovskaya and Alexander Litvinenko, either. Global warming gave even more alarm signs with the increasingly worrying reports of polar glaciers melting and generally unsteady weather conditions all over the world (for example, here in Tampere we "enjoyed" a snowless Christmas and earlier in August a bitter stench of smoke lingering insistently in the air, caused by some Russian forest fires behind the Finnish border). As usual, trouble continued brewing in the Middle East and the big boys of global power politics kept threatening each other with nuclear missiles. Finland finally won the Eurovision Song Contest with the heavy metal monster Lordi, but very soon everyone except the most jaded media freaks and Markku got bored with the Lordi phenomenon. All in all, these twelve months felt like a much longer period of time, and it is more than probable 2007 will bring many more changes.

As we announce a new era of integrated e(c)lectronics, here’s pHinnWeb’s little survival kit/"manipHesto" for two-double-oh-seven; with a licence to kill, thrill or make ill.

In 2007:

Pop-musically speaking...

We don't need music purists and wanky little fanboys furious over the relative merits of their favourite brands of organized noise (often called also "music(k)") and ignoring the rich world of sounds beyond their style ghettoes.

We don't need sad gothic robots wallowing in their misery: suicide is not a solution and the exaggerated cosmetics-enhanced misery is the best way only to secure some great laughs (a tip for all families, though: goths make great pets, are easy to take care of and maintain since they don't eat much, only need some cheap cider every now and then, and are totally content in their misery as long as you keep them warm and safe in their cage, appropriately covered with a black blanket, goths' eyes being very sensitive to light, let them listen to their Bauhaus CDs and remember to change their black leather pants or miniskirts often enough. The most important thing in a proper goth pet maintenance, though, is to keep any sharp objects away from them, to prevent children from witnessing their favourite cheery pastime, self-mutilation).

We don't need middleclass white B-boys fantasizing of guns and drive-by shootings, but we need to celebrate the fact that we don't live in ghettoes (yet), we still have a (relative) freedom to choose and the (potential) power to change things (our hero, a fifteen-year old Caucasian pimply-faced pimp gangsta lying passed out on the freshly laid minefield of street pizzas, his puffy jacket, mobile phone, wallet and brand new Timbaland shoes stolen, his XXXL-size pants down on his knees and a pool of urine slowly forming under him while he snores the night away blissfully ignorant, as always).

Also forest folkers are freely advised to search a hiding place deeper in their murky woods where they can strum away their acoustic guitars and toy instruments, and improvise to their art school student hearts' content.

Politically & culturally speaking...

We don't need bigoted power-hungry demagogues who tell the ignorant mobs that racial prejudice and chauvinist nationalism are an answer to society's ills, but we don't need to pretend we would be any better, either, but face our own prejudices and fears, and struggle them the best we can.

We don't need politicians choking on their official party line, in the end of the day only meant to secure their own hard-earned turfs. We don't need any wooden-tongued bureaucrats stumbling on red tape and drowning their sacrosanct stiff bodies under their mountains of forms, files and applications.

We may not even need traditional party politics, long ago alienated from ordinary people's lives, but we need to initiate the changes ourselves: in our immediate surroundings where we live and through our "unofficial", non-political networks around the ever-shrinking globe. For this we don't need any leaders who tell us how to get things done: no Presidents, no kings or queens, no "charismatic" reverends or "gurus", no war marshals or generals, no "trendsetters", no pop stars or Idols, no CEOs, bank managers or economy experts, no Führers.

We don't need market researches or trend barometers to tell us how to bring joy to our shallow lives by our "choices" as consumers. We don't need any dogmatist fanatics to think for us.

Yes, this list of "need nots" is so much defining ourselves through negation, so on a more positive note, also some things what we might actually need then for the pursuit of that ever-elusive happiness. We need to transcend the isolation and solitude of our provincial towns and the pecking orders of their petty-minded people with their little cliques. We need to break out of the tunnelvision. We need to stop whining (this very text probably included under this advice, too) and weeping to our pints, and start to seek for improvements and solutions instead.

We need ice cream castles with gossamer wings, more moustachioed Mona Lisas and ardent eclectronauts plunging fearlessly into the Drexciyan depths. We need more Zen, Dada and Gaga and less Britney Spearses without underpants. Tiny DJ-worshipping beatmatching-anal twerps of Platinum flee in horror as Kommandomix Eclectro crushes their otaku masturbatoriums like an amok-running 500 metres tall horny Decepticon juggernaut robot on a combination of Ayahuasca, mescaline and kerosine. Idols judges escaping the town smeared in tar and feathers, running for their lives. Godzilla's farts ignited by a flamethrower and roasting a certain well-known slimeball promoter from the Fenno-Scandic Arschloch. Did the little kid already suspect the real state of Emperor's new streetwear?

There's a God-shaped hole in your scientific rationalist-atheist worldview through which ufos and angels with their meditation crystals fly in, not to talk about poltergeists oozing stinky ectoplasm, Santa Claus in his sleigh and some other unnamed spirit entities only Danish cartoonists in their foolhardy bravery dare to give a form to. You try to arm yourself against the archaic onslaught of superstition with the collected works of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould and Stephen Hawking, but it's too late for all your free-thinking positivism to save you, and your precise, exact clockwork-like universe crumbles like a dry cup-cake and the shadows on the walls of your Platonist cave start to close in on you as The Ontological Juggler plays around with the very foundations of your world -- where you once thought everything was in its place. Yes, rationalist boy: this is the new era. Accept chaos.

OK, kiddoes: writing these very words, the present writer is well aware that this way he makes himself susceptible to derision from certain individuals laughing and snickering behind his back, but knowing these people's penchance to lazy, self-centred and self-absorbed passivity, he feels he's got nothing to be ashamed of in comparison.

For the Earth is burning, the time may be running out for this planet, and even though we might be in the middle of some elaborate cosmic joke, that is on all of us -- the gist of what we may never get -- we've got no other choice than to make the best of this desperate situation. E(c)lectricity runs through our veins in the blessed but not at all holy Western night; we are not saints or supermen, but we are not doomed yet, either.


(With a little help from Reverend Harri Teikka.)

And an optional soundtrack for this entry...

Sia: 'Breathe Me' (the finale from Six Feet Under, 2005)
(Warning for those who intend to watch the series in the future: this one contains spoilers.)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Genius of Sleepy Sleepers

Sleepy Sleepers: 'Anarkiaa Karjalassa' ("Anarchy in Karelia", 1977)

Sleepy Sleepers: 'Kaksi tapaa harrastaa seksiä' ("Two ways to have sex", a song and video clip for an anti-AIDS campaign in the 80s)

Sleepy Sleepers @ pHinnWeb

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Archigram vs. Brutalist Modernism

Modernism prevailed in architecture since the post-First World War era, in the visions of such people as Le Corbusier, Bauhaus and Functionalists; and by the 1960s this ascetic approach had developed into the minimalist, massive and menacing -- at its worst even post-Stalinist totalitarian -- style of the slabs of concrete, in what was called "Brutalist architecture". Combined with the technocratic city-planning, often manipulated by greedy and corrupt real estate deals, this was the style that prevailed all over the world, as the architecture of earlier eras was often ruthlessly erased and demolished to give way to the box-shaped steel and concrete office buildings and suburban apartment houses of element blocks. (My own hometown Tampere can well be called another example here, when several "wars" were waged over in the 60s and 70s to save such idyllic late 19th century/early 20th buildings as the City Hall or the Old Market Hall, threatened by an impending demolition in the hands of technocratic City Fathers.)

This autocratic dogmatism of Modernism/Brutalism was now challenged by architects who respected more the organic, evolutionary aspects of the city. Perhaps the most inventive and influential thinkers in this vein were the members of Archigram, a group of British architects that got together in the early 1960s through the Architectural Association in London; comprising Warren Chalk, Peter Cook (no relation to the era's famous British comedian of the same name), Dennis Crompton, David Green, Ron Herron and Michael Webb. Archigram's ideas were expressed in imaginative, often playful fantasy projects and colourful collages in "pop" spirit, which were published on the pages of their eponymous journal launched in 1961. Many of Archigram's designs were actually never meant to be realised as finished buildings, only as joyful simulations of what architecture could perhaps be in some possible but distant future, such as Roy Herron's "Walking City" of 1964: with an outlandish idea of a city that could be moved on its mechanical legs from one area to another!

Archigram were influenced by science fiction, comic books and other popular culture, engineering, and generally taking ideas from outside their own medium to find new approaches for architecture. In Amazing Archigram 4 Zoom Issue of 1964 Warren Chalk wrote: "In this second half of the twentieth century, the old idols are crumbling, the old precepts strangely irrelevant, the old dogmas no longer valid. We are in pursuit of an idea, a new vernacular, something alongside the space capsules, computers, and throw-away packages of an atomic and electronic age".

  • Peter Cook (ed.): Archigram (Princeton Architectural Press, 1999, ISBN 1568981945)
  • Simon Sadler: Archigram: Architecture without Architecture (The MIT Press, 2005, ISBN 0262693224)

    click for larger image

  • Archigram Image Search @ Google
  • Archigram Gallery
  • Archigram @
  • Archigram @ The Bartlett: Architecture
  • Archigram @ Art Tower Mito
  • Archigram @ Wikipedia
  • Thursday, December 14, 2006

    The Music Machine: 'Talk Talk' (1966)

    The Music Machine, with Sean Bonniwell in the middle

    The Music Machine: 'Talk Talk' @ Where The Action Is, 1966

    I just got The Music Machine's 2-CD compilation The Ultimate Turn-On (Ace Records, 2006), collecting together all the works of the band's original line-up; with the 1966 album Turn On (both as mono and stereo versions), all singles and some rehearsal tapes, demos and alternate takes.

    The Music Machine, headed by Sean Bonniwell, was one of the most intriguing fuzz guitar-wielding "garage"-type bands coming into prominence in that golden year of 1966 when psychedelic music was still raw and relentless, having not yet decayed into boring, meandering, endless blues jams of San Francisco bands or boring, meandering, endless pseudo-classical jams of progressive rock acts. The biggest Music Machine hit was the fierce 'Talk Talk', truly punk rock, only about ten years before Johnny Rotten and his foul-mouthed compadres made British TV watchers spill their evening teas. Well, for me, the original "punk" of the ca. '64-'67 garage/"freakbeat" bands is always far more inspiring than the more nihilistic late 70s style, born under much bleaker, more cynical and disillusioned circumstances of the latter decade.

    The Music Machine were forerunners in other ways, too. Preceding also gothic rock by some fifteen years, the band were uniformly dressed in black, wearing black gloves too (though curiously only in the right hand for each member), and even dyeing their moppish "beat" haircuts black. This sinister look must have been quite a sight to see among all the colourful groups of the day when hippie style, with its often-garish "day-glo" colours, was already emerging in the underground.

    Some similarly gloomy overtones were also reflected in the band's music: the best psychedelic garage, more than flowers and mellow peace feelings of the hippies, always verged on the raw, gloomy feel of existential angst and even bad trip psychotic breakdown. With some extra luck and less music business shortcomings than eventually befell them, The Music Machine -- with Sean Bonniwell as their charismatic but enigmatic frontman with growling vocals and dark lyrics like Jim Morrison had, though admittedly with less "poetic" pretensions -- might finally have reached the same magnitude as The Doors did. If only...

  • Listen to The Music Machine @ MySpace
  • The Official Bonniwell Music Machine Site
  • The Music Machine @ Wikipedia

    The Music Machine: 'Talk Talk'

    I got me a complication
    And it's an only child
    Concernin' my reputation
    As something more than wild
    I know it serves me right
    But I can't sleep at night
    Have to hide my face
    Or go some other play-ay-ay-ay-ay-ace

    I won't cry out for justice
    Admit that I was wrong
    I'll stay in hibernation
    'Til the talk subsides to gone
    My social life's a dud
    My name is really mud
    I'm up to here in lies
    Guess I'm down to size
    To size

    Can't seem to talk about
    The things that bother me
    Seems to be
    What everybody has
    Against me
    Oh, oh, all right

    Here's the situation
    And how it really stands
    I'm out of circulation
    I've all but washed my hands
    My social life's a dud
    My name is really mud
    I'm up to here in lies
    Guess I'm down to size
    To size

    Talk talk Talk talk Talk talk Talk talk
  • Saturday, December 09, 2006

    Dubstep in Tampere

    Tammerforce/Bass and Beer Party club's Dubstep special last night at Yo-Talo presented Tes La Rok (a.k.a. Jani Niiranen from Helsinki) featuring MC Rogue Star from London. I checked this with some interest because I couldn't claim to have much idea what this dubstep thing -- supposedly the latest craze in UK's electronic dance music -- was all about.

    Well, it turned out to be pretty intriguing: very growling and slow bone-shaking sub-bass sounds accompanied with abstract electronic excursions circling from one speaker to another. In fact, one could say it sounded much like a jungle 45 rpm vinyl record played at death-slow 33 rpm instead. So the tempo was that of dub reggae but the aggressive heaviness -- in fact, downright scary at times -- was clearly from those darker styles of drum'n'bass.

    This sound made me somehow think of my old favourites Meat Beat Manifesto, Techno Animal (Kevin "The Bug" Martin's project with Justin Broadrick of Godflesh) or even one my all-time fave tracks, LFO's 'Tied-Up' (albeit as a slowed-down version). So I have to say I quite liked the dubstep sound: nice, dark and hard. (Heh, a comparison for the more rock-oriented people might be of grunge's slower Black Sabbath-like sounds to that of speed metal.)

    The only problem with the performance for me was that maybe the BPM/tempo there remained a bit too same-y all through the set; for my own tastes accelerating the tempo and adding more rhythmical variation every once in a while might have probably made it more interesting, but perhaps this would have also lost the idea of what this style is all about. And perhaps it might have been interesting to hear it all as purely instrumental without the Cockney chants from this Brit MC who did his best, though, to lift the audience's emotions and even trying to make them raise their cigarette lighters for Tes La Rok (as they do at UK parties to show appreciation for the DJ; it seems Finnish audiences have not adopted this habit, at least not yet). After the set, Bass and Beer head honcho Bob Ryynänen played some cool electro, the way we haven't heard in ages in this Northern Mecca of milk-white junglists, Morrissey-worshippers and forest folkers; even causing one ol' pHinn to do some rare body movements on dancefloor; a considerable feat in itself these days.

    Sakke Karipuro's photos from the event

    More on dubstep:

    Dubstep - MTV Base "About To Blow"

    Dubstep documentary of BBC Collective

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Unidentified Sound Objects Art Will Blow Your Mind!


    Sampen of Unidentified Sound Objects has chockful of mind-blowing new material on the Gallery section of the official USO site at pHinnWeb: paintings, sculptures, graphics (my own favourite section here -- neo-primitive-psychedelic Id Picassoid-monsteroid alert!) and photos. Unidentified Sound Objects should be big!

    Unidentified Sound Objects 2005 interview @ pHinnWeb

    Listen to Unidentified Sound Objects @ MySpace

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    Discosusi and Finnish DJ Hall of Fame

    click for larger images

    Diskosusi ("Disco Wolf") was a magazine (or maybe "fanzine" would be a more appropriate description for this pocket-size amateur publication) that was published in Tampere from 1979 to 1982, as its sole purpose to unite Finnish DJs, disco music fans and clubbers of the day. In its heyday Diskosusi was distributed in Finnish discos and clubs, at its best reaching an edition of 10.000 copies. The primus motor behind Discosusi was Pentti "DJ Pena" Teräväinen (b. 1956), one of the veterans of Finnish disco culture and an organiser of the union of DJs who started his record-spinning career in 1972. Diskosusi did its share in contributing to local DJ/disco culture with charts, background histories of artists, DJ interviews and naturally record reviews. The magazine covered all popular styles of disco and dance music, but also some artists performing 50s style of rock'n'roll and rockabilly revival, extremely popular in the late 70s Finland, would find their way to the pages of Diskosusi.

    The DJ culture has undergone many changes since the original disco days. Whereas today's "star" DJs mostly remain just silent and technical masters of record beatmatching, the yesteryear DJs were often hyper-talkative and flamboyant "masters of ceremony", not only spinning records but also introducing them to audiences and raising their spirits the best they could; sometimes also wearing outlandish costumes to add to the rockstar-like appearance. Finnish discotheque culture celebrates this year its 40th birthday, though the actual heyday of disco was had in the late 70s when blockbuster films like Saturday Night Fever kicked off the dancefloor mania also in these Northern latitudes.

    One of the Discosusi interviewees was Tapani "DJ Beaver" Ripatti (b. 1950), who had became a small celebrity in the late 70s by being a regular face in TV's popular "jukebox jury" show called Levyraati, and through his own radio shows -- such as Ocsid (read that backwards) -- in 80s and 90s gained a legendary position in Finland playing Hi-NRG disco and Italo, and later on even moving to rave techno. (I had an honour myself to DJ in 2004 as a warm-up to Mr. Ripatti in Helsinki's Kerma -- during my own set, punters were content to stay sitting down sipping their beers, but when Don Ripatti started to work the room with his classic 80s and 90s tracks and did his famous speaks over the records, the same people just went nuts on the dancefoor!)

    DJ Pena, still going strong these days (though playing for more mature audiences now) with his Discopress and Hitit magazine, is also instrumental in establishing the Finnish DJ Hall of Fame, the gallery of DJs who have behind them a career of at least 25 years (and now found also exhibited at Tampere's Tabu Wine Bar). There are now over 30 members in the DJ Hall of Fame, including such disc-spinning veterans as Tapani "Beaver" Ripatti, Markku "DJ Edward" Vesala, Jyrki "Jyräys" Hämäläinen, Pekka "Takku" Kotilainen, Kari "Nite" Niiranen, Pentti "Poppamies" Kemppainen, Esko "Eemu" Riihelä, and Johnny-Kai "Johnny" Forssell; many of these familiar names also in Finnish music media and radio.

    Pentti "DJ Pena" Teräväinen in 1979

    Tapani "Beaver" Ripatti, also 1979. Alongside the obligatory aviator glasses, apparently moustaches and folk-style cardigans were also "the must" those days...

    Gallery: 1979 ads for Tampere discos

    (Thanks to Juri for the copies of Discosusi!)

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    pHinnWeb Chart December 2006...

    it's boring to be hip

    ... can be found here.

    Thursday, November 30, 2006

    It's A Cosy Life in Police State (Consumer Electronics, Bling Bling and Polonium-210 for X-Mas 2006)

    [large image]

    "It's A Cosy Life in Police State (Consumer Electronics, Bling Bling and Polonium-210 for X-Mas 2006)" [30 November 2006]

    © pHinn 2006

    [pHinnMilk Comics] (not for children)

    Wednesday, November 29, 2006

    Opening Credits: Rod Serling's Night Gallery

    Rod Serling's Night Gallery

    Rod Serling's Night Gallery: "The Return of the Sorcerer"

    Night Gallery search results @ YouTube

    In another pHinnWeb Blog's ongoing but irregular series: some great yesteryear movie and TV opening credits -- this time with Rod Serling's Night Gallery. This series was shown in Finland in the 70s and early 80s as Yöjuttu.

    Serling was best known as the creator and host of the original Twilight Zone (in Finland Hämärän rajamailla) and also as the co-writer of 1968's original Planet of the Apes film.

    [Previously: Saul Bass]

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    Collage Art: Danny Dark Records (UK)

    [large image]

    In pHinnWeb's irregular series of interesting collage art from around the world: I spotted the one above from the ad of a British record label Danny Dark in the latest Wire magazine.

    Danny Dark Records site has more examples of their collage art: recordings section with artwork and T-shirts and posters section.

    Saturday, November 25, 2006

    Viihde-Elektroniikka: "Submit To My Regime" (12")

    After the recommendation from a fellow electro fan, DJ Autobass (check out the site for Resistanssit electro party where he will also spin records), I just purchased from Voltti Records this excellent new 12" from an act called Viihde-Elektroniikka (it translates as something like "entertainment electronics", the Finnish word for consumer electronics...).
    Don't let the "heroic" heavy metal type of sleeve deceive you, stylistically this release is quite Detroit-type of pounding, minimal electro. pHinnWeb recommends!

    Check some sound samples from Viihde-Elektroniikka site. All I know about the people behind this release (thanks for the info to Ville Sahlakari) is that its producer Raine Ruoppa runs Basso magazine (ex-Posse) these days, and he used to study graphic design.

    Viihdeelektroniikka: "Submit To My Regime" (12")

    A1. Doomsday Device (7:04)
    A2. The Excessive Use of Force (6:06)
    B1. Gora Elbrus (6:34)
    B2. Administrative Punishment (7:36)

    All tracks written, produced and performed by Raine Ruoppa. Mixed by Jukka Immonen. Mastering: Arttu Peljo. Photography: Junnu Lusa. Cover design: Sampo Hänninen. Executive Cabinet: Linda Söderholm, Pirkka Prami, AJ Savolainen, Mikko Kalso.

    Listen to Viihde-Elektroniikka @ MySpace

    In Memoriam: Juice Leskinen (1950-2006)

    The already frail-looking Juice Leskinen with his old collaborator Mikko Alatalo in 2004

    The icon of Finnish popular music has passed away. To be honest, I had been expecting this to happen for some time now, knowing Juice's well-publicised and all the time increasing health problems, caused by his decades of unhealthy living habits. The guy was a non-conformist bohemian to the bone but unfortunately that took place at the expense of his own health.

    Actually, it has to be said I've never become a big fan of his music myself -- he was a very clever lyricist (though sometimes the style was admittedly lapsing too when he tried to be too clever for his own good and when, for example, a romantic couplet was followed by some obscene rhyme) but unfortunately musically most of his stuff leaves me quite cold -- even though living in Finland you really can't avoid hearing his songs all the time. So, though I've never bothered to get any of his albums, through radio and TV I too became familiar with most popular ditties (and OK, even learned to like) that have by now gained an evergreen status, and always enjoyed his Lennon-like quick and acerbic wit of those songs and his interviews. (A lot of those songs are comical or satirical, even though there is also a lot of typical Finnish melancholy with songs like 'Syksyn sävel' or 'Viidestoista yö'). Therefore, it could well be said I found myself quite sad on hearing the news of Juice's passing. I remember a comment from someone in 2001 when film-maker and comedian Spede Pasanen (another famous Finnish humourist also hailing from Savo province) died, that it's hard to imagine the world without Spede because it feels like he has always been around. I think this is also very much the case with Juice.

    Juice Leskinen's creative output is undeniably a cornerstone in the history of all recorded Finnish music. I suppose Juice's (pronounced in Finnish way, "yoo-ee-seh") importance as a domestic Finnish institution is quite hard to explain to non-Finns because his work was based so much on the mastery and wordplays of Finnish language (he also published several volumes of prose and poetry).

    Juice Leskinen in 1974 video clip @ YLE Elävä arkisto

    Juice Leskinen performing in 1983 @ YouTube

    Official site (in Finnish)

    Obituary in English @ Helsingin Sanomat

    Juice Leskinen info in English @ Wikipedia

    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    In Memoriam: Robert Altman (1925-2006)

    Brewster McCloud (1970): the first scene with opening credits
    2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10

    Nashville (1975) trailer

    3 Women (1977) excerpt

    The Player (1992): the first scene with opening credits

    More Robert Altman search results @ YouTube

    Robert Altman, the groundbreaking and sometimes also anarchistic American film director has passed away. Altman is remembered for 1970's black war comedy MASH (taking place in Korean War 1950-53 but clearly pointing to what was happening in Vietnam at the time), 1973's Raymond Chandler adaptation The Long Goodbye, relocated from the 1940s to modern Los Angeles (with Elliott Gould's memorable take on Chandler's hero Philip Marlowe as a shabby and burnt-out character, reflecting the early 70s post-hippie Zeitgeist), and the country music film Nashville (1975) where the world of show business was seen with satirical eyes -- a theme which recurred in Altman's movies. Like many of his films, Nashville also utilized Altman's trademark techniques of actor improvisation and simultaneously overlapping dialogues appearing on soundtrack. 3 Women (1977) with Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek is a masterful dreamlike and impressionistic study, somehow also reflecting Ingmar Bergman's Persona. Of his latest films, Altman gained most acclaim with 1992's The Player and 1993's Short Cuts, based on Raymond Carver's short stories.

  • Robert Altman @ Wikipedia
  • Robert Altman @ IMDB
  • Monday, November 20, 2006

    Saturday, November 18, 2006

    Tampere Exotica

    The first snow flakes in Keskustori, Tampere

    Blizzard in Kaleva, Tampere (music by Atomik)

    Laukontori, Hatanpäänvaltatie and the suburbs, Tampere (accompanied by some surreal music + a very un-Tampere-ish "booty" music video clip having nothing to do with the rest of it...)

    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Roy Vedas: 'Fragments of Life'

    Roy Vedas: 'Fragments of Life'

    Another version of this song (though I prefer myself the one above)

    One of my all-time favourites is this 1998 "retro-futuristic" song from Roy Vedas (imagine a typical 1964 beat group taken through a time warp by abducting aliens into record-producing). I don't know anything else about this act except that they were two guys called Frank Di Mauro and Maxi Trusso; Trusso's vocals being manipulated here with a vocoderish effect called autotuner, which became more famous with Cher's Believe (the song which was famously parodied in South Park). Roy Vedas, apparently another act in the endless list of one-hit wonders, disappeared as soon as they emerged, but I prefer their(auto)tune to that of the queen of plastic surgery.

    The production tricks of Cher's Believe

    Saturday, November 11, 2006

    Psychedelic Phinland - Finnish Hippie & Underground Music

    Title: Psychedelic Phinland - Finnish Hippie & Underground Music 1967-1974
    Format: 2CD
    Date: 15 November 2006
    Cat.No: LXCD 651

    From press release notes (translation from Finnish and all ensuing errors by pHinn):

    The hippie ideals and that fiercer underground arrived to Finland in the mental turmoil of the end of the 1960s. Their blooming was cut short, but both left their permanent mark on pop culture. The 2-CD Psychedelic Phinland collects together the nation's first hippie troubadours, pioneers of psychedelic prog, vanguard warriors of anarcho rock, acoustic tribal musicians and the extreme daredevils of the arctic avantgarde. The album presents the mashers of the fringes of consciousness from Blues Section to Tylympi Kohtalo ("The Grimmer Fate"), the wanderers of stellar spheres from Pekka Streng to Jukka Kuoppamäki, the gravediggers for the Establishment from Suomen Talvisota 1939-40 ("The Finnish Winter War 1939-40") to Apollo, those who grasped the meaning of the holy simplicity from Those Lovely Hula Hands to Kruununhaan Dynamo ("Kruununhaka's Dynamo") and the midwives of sonic revolution from The Sperm to Sähkökvartetti ("The Electric Quartet"). It's a unique sound documentary of the alternative music of the turn of the 1960s and 70s. For those already familiar with Suomen Talvisota and The Sperm are offered some curiosities which amaze by their sheer existence. Everything essential concerning the topic is presented here -- from Jorma Ikävalko's no-holds-barred hippie comedy to the flute meditation reaching for the world spirit by Sikiöt ("The Foetuses"). This compilation produced by Jukka Lindfors includes 29 tracks from 20 different artists or bands, including self-releases, radio and TV performances and live recordings. The sleeve illustration is provided by Timo Aarniala, the court artist of Finnish underground. The whole it can be best described by the words of the poet Markku Into: "Everyone does their own thing. A symphony for every member of the family, for everyone their own alienation".


    1. Topmost: The End
    2. Hector & Oscar: Savu
    3. Jukka Kuoppamäki: Kukkasen valta
    4. Jorma Ikävalko: Hippijortsut pöhkölässä
    5. Blues Section: Cherry-Cup Cake Twist
    6. Wigwam: Must Be The Devil
    7. Baby Grandmothers: Being Is More Than Life
    8. Eero Koivistoinen: Pientä peliä urbaanissa limousinessa
    9. Charlies: Taiteen kriitikistä
    10. Apollo: Ajatuksia
    11. Suomen Talvisota 1939-40: Kasvoton kuolema ja Sirhan Sirhan
    12. Suomen Talvisota 1939-40: Tehtaan vahtimestarit
    13. Suomen Talvisota 1939-40: Flaggorna fladdrade i gentlemannens WC
    14. Tylympi Kohtalo: Näkemiin, voi hyvin ystäväni
    15. Pekka Streng: Olen erilainen
    16. Juice Leskinen & Coitus Int: Zeppeliini
    17. Hector: Meiran Laulu
    18. Jukka Kuoppamäki: Aurinkomaa
    19. Markku Into: Olen puhunut utopiaa


    1. Those Lovely Hula Hands: Tarzan apornas apa / Tarzan gregah / Jane Porter sivistyksen muurilla
    2. Those Lovely Hula Hands: Menevät miehet
    3. Pekka Airaksinen: Fos 2
    4. The Sperm: Heinäsirkat I
    5. Sähkökvartetti: Kaukana väijyy ystäviä
    6. Kruununhaan Dynamo: Simple Things
    7. Sikiöt: Side One
    8. Sikiöt: Trippin' Together
    9. Those Lovely Hula Hands: Missä on Marilyn?
    10. J.O. Mallander: Degnahc Ev'uoY


    Love Records / Siboney


    Tel. +351-(0)9 -417 66 640

    FAX +351-(0)9-417 66 650

    Psychedelic rock in 60s Finland @ pHinnWeb

    Early Years of Finnish Electronic Music & Avantgarde @ pHinnWeb

    Thursday, November 09, 2006

    Love Missile F2-67, A Tribute to Sigue Sigue Sputnik

    Sigue Sigue Sputnik: 'Love Missile F1-11'

    Love Missile F2-67, 267 Lattajjaa label's tribute compilation to Sigue Sigue Sputnik is finally out, featuring 12 versions of their 1986 hit 'Love Missile F1-11' from different artists. It's a limited edition of 66 copies with hand-painted sleeves. You can order it directly from the label.

    artist: Various
    title: Love Missile F2-67 LTJ-F267
    date: 7 November 2006

    artists in order of appearance:

    3. LÖRSSON
    4. GREIPPI
    12. WHITLOW

    More Sigue Sigue Sputnik genius:

    A word from Sputnik Corps

    Sigue Sigue Sputnik: '21st Century Boy'

    Sigue Sigue Sputnik: 'Sex Bomb Boogie' (including clips from James Cameron's Terminator)

    Didn't get enough...?

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    Tuomas Rantanen Joins MySpace, Too

    Tuomas Rantanen has a brand new MySpace site.

    Tuomas Rantanen is the philosopher king of hard Tampere techno monotrax, an all-round nice guy, avid conversationalist and chess enthusiast who has saved many a boring night for me at Yo-Talo! Our Kompleksi project did with Tuomas a remix of Maxx Klaxon's 'Internationale 2000' (still unreleased).

    Tuomas Rantanen comes from Finland and his musical style is dark industrial techno. He has created a very unique music expression where strong driving percussion techno combines to cold and dark atmosphere and ambience elements. Prior to his own techno music productions he studied classical guitar and theory of music at Tampere Conservatory, and in 1995 he also started to make his own music productions. In 1999 he released his first release on Template Records (England) with support by British techno producer Glenn Wilson. After that Tuomas Rantanen has released several techno releases also on other labels including Fresh Grind (England), Audio Assault (The Netherlands), Submissions (The Netherlands), Unknown Forces (England), Electracom (England), KK Traxx (Belgium), Definition Records (Germany), Maracas Records (Sweden), Emergence Records (Sweden) and Fak Records (Finland). Tuomas Rantanen has studied Philosophy at Tampere University. He wrote his Master's Thesis about the philosophy of Martin Heidegger; especially Heidegger's concept of understanding, language and art.

    Tuomas Rantanen @ pHinnWeb

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Kompleksi Collaborators: Citizen Omega @ MySpace

    A Kompleksi collaborator Citizen Omega (a.k.a. Eero Salminen of Vaasa, Finland) has now his own MySpace presentation where you can hear some of his tracks. Citizen Omega is truly one of the best-kept secrets in Finnish electro scene! You can hear one of Kompleksi/Citizen Omega collaboration tracks, 'Gothic Robots', at Kompleksi's MySpace page.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    Drexciya: "Fear of a Wet Planet" by Kodwo Eshun

    "Fear of a Wet Planet", a 1998 article by Kodwo Eshun about the legendary African-American "aquatic electro" act Drexciya has now been archived at The Wire magazine site.

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    The Dire Consequences of Our Dependency on Fossil Fuels, and How Nuclear Fallout May Be Bad for Your Complexion

    [large image]

    "The Dire Consequences of Our Dependency on Fossil Fuels, and How Nuclear Fallout May Be Bad for Your Complexion" [21 October 2006]

    © pHinn 2006

    [pHinnMilk Comics] (not for children)

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Save Kino-Palatsi!

    Living in Tampere, it has been depressing to witness how traditional old movie theatres here have gradually vanished and been replaced by bland multiplexes running mostly mindless American popcorn blockbusters. I often wax nostalgic for such local yesteryear cinemas as Adams, Hällä, Häme, Ilves, Olympia, Petit, Pirkka and Royal, which formed an important part of my own cinematic education. These places have all now been closed and turned into nightclubs or even traditional theatres. (At the time of writing this, the demolition of the house of Petit at Hämeenkatu has begun; another office building coming to its place.)

    One of these important movie theatres of my formative years was also Kino-Palatsi of Tampere, built in 1928, one of the oldest cinemas in Finland which so far has retained its original style with lavish interiors. Kino-Palatsi actually ceased its activities as cinema in 1991 but has even since worked as one of the important venues for the annual Tampere Short Film Festivals. Now Kino-Palatsi faces the threat of being transformed into another nightclub owned by club entrepreneur Sedu Koskinen. Sign the petition at to save Kino-Palatsi and an indispensable piece of Tampere's cultural history.

    One of the nude figurines by Väinö Rautalin surrounding Kino-Palatsi's silver screen. Though probably intended to give a very artistic impression, at least to this youngster with a vivid imagination (and probably to many other people, too), these naked couples frolicking in various different positions always curiously looked like some scenes from Kama Sutra...

    Links: (in Finnish)

    Wednesday, October 18, 2006

    [videos] Mr Velcro Fastener: 'Čapek'

    Mr Velcro Fastener: 'Čapek'

    The brand new Mr Velcro Fastener single now also as a stunning video, directed by photographer Tatu Hiltunen; some eye candy especially for all you ladies out there (Chippendales, eat your hearts out)!

    Mr Velcro Fastener interview @ pHinnWeb (sorry, Finnish only!)

    Saturday, October 14, 2006

    Gillo Pontecorvo In Memoriam

    A disturbing excerpt from The Battle for Algiers (1966)

    Italian film director Gillo Pontecorvo (November 19, 1919 — October 12, 2006) was best known for his La Battaglia di Algeri ("The Battle for Algiers", 1966), a quasi-documentary style film about the Algerian war 1954-62; the movie also including another memorable Ennio Morricone film score. The other well-known Pontecorvo film is Queimada! (a.k.a. Burn!, 1969) starring Marlon Brando, and listed by Danny Peary in one of his Cult Movies books.

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    [MP3] Argon: Kone kertoo

    The legendary Finnish synthpop act Argon has provided its 1981 album Kone kertoo ("Machine tells") as free MP3s, which will follow after the message in Finnish from Argon's Pekka Tolonen.


    From: pekka.tolonen [at]
    Newsgroups: sfnet.harrastus.musiikki
    Subject: Kotimainen teknopioneeri Argon
    Date: 11 Oct 2006 10:13:07 -0700

    Kotimainen teknopioneeri Argon esittelyssä

    Organ-yhteen edeltäjä Argon paljastaa nyt arkistojen kätköistä vision tulevaisuuteen - vielä toteutumattomaan, jota kohden maailma on kuitenkin matkalla.

    Argonin musiikillinen visio esittäytyy nykypäivän kuuntelijalle japanilaisten eskapististen ja surrealististen manga-animaatioiden tapaan poikkitaiteellisella estetiikalla ja kielikuvilla, joiden tarinat sijoittuvat nopeasti etenevän mielikuvituksen ja tietokoneanimaation visionaariseen piirrettyyn maailmaan.

    Vastakohtana kotimaisen futurismi-genren pioneeriin Organiin, jonka biitin määräsi Eppu Normaali/Mikko Saarelan pallien heilunta syvän dung-dung-dung -bassorummun ja syntikkabiitin tahdissa futurismin "kundi meikkaa"- ja "mässäävien kärpästoukkien" aspekteihin painottuvien sanoitusten kanssa, Argonin fokusointi oli sitä vastoin futurismin globaaleissa suuntaviivoissa ja toimi kirkasotsaisella nörttiakselilla, jossa elämän pääsisältö koostui low-resolution -tietokonepelien ruuduista ja teknologian suomien uusien mahdollisuuksien innoituksesta.

    Juottimen ja tinan kärventyminen Zyrgo-rumpukoneen logiikkapiirien suunnittelussa, joka muodosti pohjan tulevalle Organ-yhtyeelle, oli myös pääfokuksena Argonin tuotannossa.

    Futuristisen Argon-vision myötävaikuttajana toimi Pekka Tolosen ja Seppo Parkkisen - Kulosaaren eliittikoulun ensimmäinen nörttisukupolvi - ohella englantilainen tuottaja Richard Stanley, joka oli aiemmin työskennellyt Beatlesien, Santanan, Whon sekä kotimaisen Hurriganes-yhteen kanssa.

    80-luvun alussa julkaistua Argon/Kone kertoo -albumia myytiin 200 kappaletta, ja se on keräilyharvinaisuus. Kuriositeettina mainittakoon, että albumi teilattiin aikakauden kriitikoiden toimesta "käsittämättöminä lastenlauluina".

    Haluamme nyt kuitenkin Sir Seppo Parkkisen kanssa julkituoda Argonin teknologia-pohjaista lähestymistapaa aikakauden teknologian ylittävien sekvenssointiratkaisujen hyödyntämisessä elektronisen pop-musiikin luonnissa, ja mitä kohteliaimmin julkistaa Argon-visiomme kappaleet vapaaseen jakeluun (levitä vapaasti linkkejä).

    Poissuljemme levityksestä albumille sisältyvän maailman ensimmäisen LP-levylle sisällytetyn tietokoneohjelman sen sisältämien henkilökohtaisten nörttirakkausviestien mp3-pakkauksesta aiheutuvien enkoodaus/dekoodaus-virheiden johdosta.

    Ystävällisesti teidän,
    Pekka Tolonen & Seppo Parkkinen

    And it tells a story .. not yet realized .. but it will ..

    San Salvador

    it's getting a really messed-up place here on the earth... wars all over


    and we are really all walking like zombies.. no feelings ... no friends ... no future .. no pain .. no pleasure ... no fun ... just going on ...

    Kone kertoo ("Machine tells")

    happily we have the computers that stimulate us.. that work ... or not ... error ...

    Taksi ("Taxi")

    it starts happening ... the leaders have been informed ... time is getting short ...

    Hong Kong

    early signs in asia, where it all originates ... and some temporary fun, too ...

    Täysikuun aikaan ("In the time of full moon")

    moon madness becomes epidemic ... for no apparent reason acts of madness start to rule earth ...

    Kummajaislaulu ("Weirdo song")

    then the children change weird to their parents ... voice inside starts talks to them ... but the life still goes on ... at the daytime ...


    and the kids have great fun with the video games! ... they extend us ... we are global ...

    Venuksesta itään ("East from Venus")

    meanwhile the space technology takes huge steps forward ... satellite colonies emerge on Mars and Venus ... missing the Earth ...

    Kesä 84 ("Summer '84")

    the play is over ... seas start freezing ... sky fades on dark clouds ... endless snow and ice-age ... with few survivors ... and lost hearts ... loneliness ... migration begins ...

    Aurinkolaulu ("The Sun song")

    memories of the past forgotten, dismissed forever ... how we could have made it different ...

    Takapihan kautta ("Through the backyard")

    but that was not the end ... after a centuries' decay it all returns back to 18th century .. and the life goes on ... until the next interrupt from the colonies ...

    Wednesday, October 11, 2006

    Shake That Acid Images

    Here you can see some images from Shake That Acid party (Saturday 10 October 2006, Klubi, Tampere), by Sakke Karipuro.