Thursday, December 25, 2008

Harold Pinter (1930 - 2008)

Harold Pinter's The Caretaker - "The Job Offer" (1963, directed by Clive Donner)

  • More Harold Pinter search results @ YouTube

    Harold Pinter, British playwright of the Modernist generation of "Angry Young Men", has died at the age of 78. He received the Literature Nobel Prize in 2005.
  • "Christmas? Bah, Humbug!"

    Scrooge McDuck is a Disney character created by American comic book artist Carl Barks (1901 - 2000) for the Donald Duck story Christmas on Bear Mountain in 1947. The wealthy, nasty and misanthropic old duck, scary to the point of being Gothic, was modelled after Ebeneezer Scrooge, the Christmas-hating rich curmudgeon in A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens. Mr. Scrooge's disapproving catchprase "Bah, humbug!" was something he used to describe the Yuletide in general.

    Thus "Scrooge" has also became a common nickname for the people disliking Christmas for various reasons of their own.

    Later on, for his Donald Duck comics Carl Barks softened the character of "Uncle Scrooge", who became a caricature (though one not portrayed with a too critical eye) of an extremely wealthy but overtly stingy venture capitalist, keen to literally take swims in the sea of coins he keeps in his Money Bin building. For those to whom Walt Disney's empire means American cultural imperialism at its worst, the association became all too poignant (for further studies, check out How To Read Donald Duck by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart, 1971).

    Politics aside, the late 1940s is my favourite Barks era when his visual style was at its sharpest; often capturing some hues of the noir-ish post-war angst even with occasional Gothic overtones, to his otherwise comical stories meant for children. This was especially obvious with his long storylines, usually displaying a more epic scale in exotic locations around the world, in comparison to his "shorties" that were based on different "screwball"-style gags around everyday hometown situations, and other classics such as The Ghost of the Grotto and The Old Castle's Secret were born.

  • Christmas on Bear Mountain synopsis and links @ Wikipedia
  • Wednesday, December 24, 2008

    Jumalauta, kakarat, kohta paukkuu pakarat!

    M.A. Numminen: 'Joulupukki puree ja lyö'

    This classic Christmas song by M.A. Numminen in his "neo-vulgar" style from the 1970s, "Santa Claus bites and beats people up", tells the tale of a somewhat anarchic Santa wreaking havoc during a family Christmas Eve, threatening to beat up both father and mother, spank the children, demanding various Xmas foods and naturally a large bottle of booze, and finally ransacking the place.

    Juice Leskinen: 'Sika'

    Also the late Juice Leskinen offered his take on the favourite Finnish Christmas dish in 'Sika' ("Pig").

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008

    Wishing You A Merry Life, Not "Merry" X-Mas

  • The Anti-Christmas Zone
  • Christmas Resistance
  • Urgh! A Music War (1981)

    Klaus Nomi: 'Total Eclipse' off Urgh! A Music War, 1981

    Urgh! A Music War (1981), shown by YLE Teema yesterday, is a film that, instead of having a plot in a traditional sense, consists just of a series of live performances from some extremely diverse US and UK acts, with "post-punk" moniker as their common (and in many cases, the only) denominator. So many goodies: most acts were familiar to me, at least by name, but I have to admit I had never before heard of such as Skafish (quite brilliant, actually), Splodgenessabounds or Invisible Sex (whose bizarre performance made me roll with laughter).

    Another proof why this is among my favourite musical eras: the original punk of 1976-77 was in many ways a purist putsch kicking out those musical styles and artists that had become outdated ("classic rock" millionaires WhoZeppelinStones with their Learjets and cocaine), choking under their colossal weight (prog-rock), thoroughly commercialized and -- to use the favourite expression of the era -- boring, but personally, bar some exceptions (Ramones, Pistols, Buzzcocks), most of those first wave's three-chord wonders with buzzsaw guitars and their simplistic slogans leave me cold, and more interesting things started only happen in the second, "post-" (or "new wave") phase of punk when artists widened their musical palettes to include, e.g., such things as keyboards and synths (in the most purist Year Zero punk phase only Satan's, Prog-Rock's and Big Commerce's despicable tool nothing to do with Pure, True, Authentic and Genuine Street Expression), more complicated song structures with that fourth chord (and more), more thought-out lyrics, even dance music and (terror, terror!) disco (reggae was a big influence to it all), and so on, but still retaining punk's original DIY ethos.

    Of course, it was all very art-school (as had prog been its very beginnings) and artsy-fartsy, and not without certain pretentiousness (though a lot of it was interesting pretension) and by the 1980s corporate rock era it had all died away (some of these acts like Police and Sting solo eventually became corporate rock themselves), but just by witnessing the amazing variety of music in Urgh!, at least for a couple of years, extremely lively things were happening. To see and hear yourself, check Urgh! A Music War search results @ YouTube.

    The complete list of all acts heard in Urgh! A Music War:

    The Police – "Driven to Tears"
    Wall of Voodoo – "Back in Flesh"
    Toyah Willcox – "Dance"
    John Cooper Clarke – "Health Fanatic"
    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – "Enola Gay"
    Chelsea – "I’m on Fire"
    Oingo Boingo – "Ain’t This the Life"
    Echo & the Bunnymen – "The Puppet"
    Jools Holland – "Foolish I Know"
    XTC – "Respectable Street"
    Klaus Nomi – "Total Eclipse"
    Athletico Spizz 80 – "Where’s Captain Kirk?"
    The Go-Go's – "We Got the Beat"
    Dead Kennedys – "Bleed for Me"
    Steel Pulse – "Ku Klux Klan"
    Gary Numan – "Down in the Park"
    Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – "Bad Reputation"
    Magazine – "Model Worker"
    Surf Punks – "My Beach"
    The Members – "Offshore Banking Business"
    Au Pairs – "Come Again"
    The Cramps – "Tear It Up"
    Invisible Sex – "Valium"
    Pere Ubu – "Birdies"
    Devo – "Uncontrollable Urge"
    The Alley Cats – "Nothing Means Nothing Anymore"
    John Otway – "Cheryl’s Going Home"
    Gang of Four – "He’d Send in the Army"
    999 – "Homicide"
    The Fleshtones – "Shadowline"
    X – "Beyond and Back"
    Skafish – "Sign of the Cross"
    Splodgenessabounds – "Two Little Boys"
    UB40 – "Madame Medusa"
    The Police – "Roxanne"
    The Police – "So Lonely"

    Monday, December 22, 2008

    Jimi Tenor: 4th Dimension

    Jimi Tenor & Kabu Kabu @ All About Freedom Festival - 11.11. 2008 Part 1

    [the rest @ MadMaxGD YouTube channel]

    Jimi Tenor has a new album out. Press release notes:

    Finland's Jimi Tenor, a musician, composer and arranger known to constantly reinvent himself, has finished work on his latest album 4th Dimension, on which he continues his exploration of Afrobeat music. The album also sees him reunite with Kabu Kabu, a group of West African musicians based in Germany, who debuted on Tenor's 2007 album Joystone.

    4th Dimension's Afrobeat is highlighted with Tenor's jazzy, bohemian touches and ability to write irresistible tunes. Tenor's catchy-yet-challeng ing arrangements are reminiscent of the legendary Fela Kuti, and perhaps one can also sense the influence of the likes of Lalo Schifrin, Charlie Mingus and Sun Ra. Tenor's trademark high-pitched vocals are heard less this time around as the maestro concentrates on tooting his tenor sax, playing the flute and synth.

    The album's first single "Mystery Spot" is uplifting and uptempo Afrobeat. "Global Party" starts out moody but builds into a frenzied Disco groove. "Grind!" and "Me I Say Yes" are perhaps the album's most traditional Afro-inspired songs with their loping basslines and heavy percussion.

    "Mogadishu Ave." is a surprise number of Goblin-esque psychedelic prog rock. "Mega Roots" and "Fast Legs" are lo-fi percussion jams similar to the African field recordings released by legendary labels Folkways and Ocora.

    4th Dimension, yet another superb album by Jimi Tenor, is available at your local record store, or for mail order and immediate digital download at

  • The official Jimi Tenor site
  • N&B Research Digest News

    Alexei Borisov & Matterlink ("Eyeing Sound" project)

    From N&B Research Digest label:

    N&B Research Digest has three wonderful archival releases out now as digital downloads

    Swissair: "15. joulukuuta 1981"

    ”15. joulukuuta 1981” (”December 15th, 1981”) was recorded during one afternoon in Helsinki and first released as a cassette in early 1982. At this point the six 16-year old members of Swissair, whose earlier music had been inspired by punk and new wave groups like PiL, Wire, Chrome and MX-80 Sound, were becoming acquainted with the history of avant-garde music and immediately started experimenting with its ideas while having practically no traditional playing skills at all. At least Anton Webern’s music in which "silences matter as much as sounds" was discussed before pressing the rec button and starting to improvise... READ MORE and LISTEN TO PREVIEWS:

    Jungle: "Live in Leningrad"

    Jungle was formed in 1983 in Leningrad Rock Club’s new wave milieu, continuing a local tradition of giving groups names that had to with animals and domestication. Jungle was an exception among Aquarium, Zoo and other prominent underground groups in Leningrad in another respect: its music was purely instrumental and the musicians cited European ”avant-progressive” Rock In Opposition musicians and American proponents of Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics as their influences instead of The Velvet Underground or British new wave groups... READ MORE and LISTEN TO PREVIEWS:

    F.R.U.I.T.S.: "Studio Recordings Vol. 1"

    F.R.U.I.T.S. is a duo formed by Alexei Borisov and Pavel Zhagun in Moscow in 1992. Borisov had started in the early 1980’s as a guitarist in Centre, the very first Russian new wave band, and later formed his own experimental group Notchnoi Prospekt. Zhagun’s background was quite different: he had been a brass player in the touring group of Soviet Union’s biggest pop star, Alla Pugachova, and wrote lyrics for her and other so-called "official" pop stars, but gradually turned into an enthusiast of contemporary academic composition. Together Borisov and Zhagun started to make hypnotic, musique concrète-inspired pieces on samplers, and theoretised about concepts like optical sounds, "reframing", "noise reconstruction" and ”no music”... READ MORE and LISTEN TO PREVIEWS:

    All our download albums are available both as best-quality mp3's (for the tech-oriented: LAME/extreme quality, no copy protection) and, at a slightly higher price, as lossless flac files (= CD quality).

    ELSEWHERE ON THE NET Alexei Borisov & Anton Nikkilä have a track called "Pink Bread" on the download-only compilation "Sound Canvas 1 - Compilation of sound art, minimal and improvised music" made available for free by Moscow's Mikroton label and featuring Alva Noto, Frank Bretschneider, Lawrence English and many others:

    Anton Nikkilä has also contributed a track entitled "Lasijauholaivakeikka Revisited" on the free download-only compilation "Fifteen Sounds of the War on the Poor, Vol. 1" released by the Los Angeles-based Public Record and featuring Ultra-red, Terre Thaemlitz, Alejandra and Aeron, Christopher DeLaurenti, and more:

    NEW ITEMS IN OUR OWN WEBSHOP include the Lithuanian compilation "Un/Typical" (featuring Alexei Borisov & Anton Nikkilä), the Slovenian compilation "Fabriksampler V2" (featuring Alexei Borisov & Tania Stene) and the album "M S :4" by the Moscow group Rivushiye struny. Read more about them on our website:

    With best seasonal wishes, hyvää joulua & с наступающими праздниками!

    Anton Nikkilä
    Alexei Borisov

    Friday, December 19, 2008

    The Wire and the Secrets of Nailgun Use

    The Wire 4th season opening & intro

    They are now showing in Finland re-runs of The Wire's fourth season on a channel called SubTV, and again in a ridiculous times slot (1:15 am between Wednesday and Thursday). Here is the hilarious opening scene to the first episode, where the tomboyish gangsta homegirl Snoop goes shopping for a nailgun for uses not exactly intended by the manufacturer...

    The Wire has been one of the best shows (if not the best) on the idiot box these days, a realistic and cynical (but often peppered with humour and also some great dialogue and memorable characters) drama on the cat and mouse game between Baltimore cops and the drug lords of the ghettos; like a crash course to street sociology, the characters spanning from the lowest rung of society to its very highest; from the most miserable junkie to the greedy, opportunist politicians. Here's hoping they will show the fifth and final season here soon, but when the general emphasis of programming seems to be on the mind-numbing spectacle of Idols, it's better not to hold one's breath waiting.

    I Was A Teenage Satan Worshipper: Dark Business Downloadable For Free

    I Was A Teenage Satan Worshipper: 'Boys Are Pigs' (2008, off Whatevernights, directed by Juha Kuoppala)

  • IWATSW video channel @ YouTube

    And then back to our own era:

    The new mini-album by I Was A Teenage Satan Worshipper, Dark Business, can be downloaded for free until the end of January 2009 from the following sites:

  • Wigwam, Eero Koivistoinen and Seija Simola in 1969

    Wigwam feat. Seija Simola & Eero Koivistoinen: 'Birthday Day' (1969)

    Wigwam feat. Seija Simola & Eero Koivistoinen: 'A Girl I Knew' (1969)

    Seija Simola, 1969. Image © YLE.

    See the videos also here:

  • Wigwam & Seija Simola: 'A Girl I Knew'
  • Wigwam & Seija Simola: 'Birthday Day'

    Info in Finnish on Wigwam and Seija Simola:

    An archive discovery from December 1969: Wigwam and Eero Koivistoinen present with chanteuse Seija Simola two rock numbers in a psychedelic setting for a "Luola" ("Cave") section of a YLE TV show called Tunti ("Hour"). Wigwam provided in 1970 the music for a TV drama called Grottan, though they are not featured in the play itself.

    Wigwam is presented here by the original members Ronnie Österberg (drums), Mats Huldén (bass) and Vladimir "Nikke" Nikamo (guitar); with additional members Tuomo Tanska (keyboards) and Eero Koivistoinen (saxophone), the latter having been in the line-up of Blues Section with Jim Pembroke and Österberg. Pembroke and Jukka Gustavson who both joined Wigwam in 1969 are not involved. Seija Simola was heard on Koivistoinen's seminal Valtakunta album of 1968.

    The songs played by Wigwam here are originally from the repertoire of Denmark's Savage Rose; with Finnish translations provided by Juha "Watt" Vainio, though only one of the translations is heard. Other topics of this Tunti episode were the "pop report" and "today's politics" (something that would never happen in a contemporary pop music TV show). Also a Czech short film was seen. This Wigwam performance is the only known remaining videotape of the band, pre-1974. (Info provided by Jukka Lindfors/YLE Elävä Arkisto).

    More by Wigwam:

    Wigwam: 'Colossus' (1976)
  • Another Vesimiehen Aika Radio Show @ YLE Areena

    YLE Areena offers another episode of Jorma Elovaara's legendary psychedelic counterculture radio show Vesimiehen aika ("Age of Aquarius"), available online until 21 December 2008 (it can be listened only in Finland). The sound quality is low, only 32 kbps:

    (Thanks for the info: J.H.)

  • More Vesimiehen Aika audioclips @ YLE Elävä Arkisto
  • Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Momus Gives His Creation Albums As Free Downloads

    Momus: 'Hairstyle of the Devil' (1989)

    Momus: 'Cibachrome Blue' (1992)

    Momus: 'Rhetoric' (1994)

    Talking about favourite blogs: if I didn't have such a short attention span and if I didn't hate reading long texts off computer screen (especially here in a local free Net café amidst the clamour of 10 - 15-year old boys coming to play RuneQuest and shoot-'em-up games after the school), I would pay more attention to the Web diary of Momus where the Scottish-originated artist and writer -- born as Nick Currie in 1960 -- gives his regular views on art, culture, politics and naturally music, his own and of the others.

    Anyway, I try to give at least a brief daily glance to what Mr. Currie is saying, so I recently noticed he's going to give for free (or for a voluntary donation) six Momus albums recorded for the legendary Creation Records, according to certain fans some of his best. In his own words from the blog:

    "Six Momus albums -- the ones I recorded for Alan McGee's Creation label between 1987 and 1993 -- are out of print. Creation doesn't exist any more, and in theory Sony owns the rights to these albums, but isn't doing anything with them and probably never will. In the meantime, only Russian pirates are profiting, charging punters for illegal downloads.

    So, during the rest of December, I've decided to release mp3s of my six Creation albums here on Click Opera, for free. Think of it as a sort of Creation Advent Calendar, with a new old Momus album every couple of days. If you're the sort of person who likes to donate to the artist when you download, do it here. But it's not really necessary; these albums paid for themselves long ago. Think of this as a Christmas present. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!"

    All six albums are now online:

  • The Poison Boyfriend (1988)
  • The Tender Pervert (1988)
  • Don't Stop The Night (1989)
  • Hippopotamus (1991)
  • Voyager (1992)
  • Timelord (1993)

    (Momus also added a post-script on Alan McGee of Creation Records.)

    This is the era when Momus (the name borrowed from the Greek god of satire and mockery) took cues, alongside the more obvious Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg, Scott Walker and David Bowie influences, also from such contemporary electronic artists as Pet Shop Boys, to his witty, ironic and bittersweet songs of literary style, wry commentary and "tender perversion" not unfamiliar with controversy. As is found from Wikipedia entry, in his time he has managed to anger both the trans-gender electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos and Michelin Tyres (comparing the famous Michelin Man to a blow-up doll), not to forget songs mentioning paedophilia, necrophilia, adultery and Tamagotchis.

    I have to say my own knowledge of Momus' music is more sporadic and limited to owning some albums from this era of the late 80s and early 90s. Though the artist himself comments the album in question: "This is really just a funky book-end, pleasant enough as a mood piece, but not really essential", my own favourite Momus record is the futuristic-themed Voyager of 1992 (where 'Cibachrome Blue' video seen here is taken from) -- and he even had a gig at Yo-Talo in our measly Tampere during those days, which I remember witnessing.

    The other connection Momus has to this country is the Man of Letters documentary film made of him in 1994 by Finnish director Hannu Puttonen (who also created the videos for 'Pornography', 'Marquise of Sadness' and 'Rhetoric' by Momus) -- the film is available as a DVD with extra material on Cherry Red Records.

  • Momus @ Discogs
  • Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Viola: Melancholydisco 2 (If Society)

    Artist: Viola / various artists
    Title: Melancholydisco 2 IF-45
    EAN: 6417698069143
    Label: If Society (Finland)
    Distributor: Töölön Musiikkitukku
    Release date: 29 December 2008


    01 The Hardest Hit
    02 Imaginary Times > Hannulelauri remix
    03 Invisible Revolution > Videovalvontaa remix
    04 We Owe Love
    05 Outsider Code > Regina Remix
    06 Unreal Life > I Was A Teenage Satan Worshipper remix
    07 Fleeting World
    08 The Deadweights > Black Audio remix
    09 Planet Struck > Kiva Tekkno Supplies Arena remix
    10 Ada Bell (In A Montage)

    Length: 47:47

    Mastered by: Minerva Pappi/Finnvox

    Album info @ If Society

    If Society announces the release of Melancholydisco 2 by Viola, a Finnish duo of Riku Kärkkäinen and Tommi Forsström celebrating their tenth anniversary in 2009. The first Melancholydisco in 2005 featured versions of tracks from Viola's debut album Tearcandy (2004) by such artists as Boys of Scandinavia, Iconcrash and Verneri Lumi of Rinneradio. This second installment includes re-shaped songs from Viola's subsequent albums Anything Can Stop Us (2005) and Wonderabilia (2007). Melancholydisco 2 has four brand new electronic Viola songs and six remixes from various artists.

    I decided I'm really bad (meaning too lazy and undisciplined) in writing record reviews, especially in English, but I might give a few words about this album after receiving the promo in mail yesterday and having time to give it a couple of listens already. The opener, 'The Hardest Hit', is potentially the biggest, erm, hit on this compilation; a track in the best 80s Pet Shop Boys/Bobby O./hi-energy/Italo/gaydisco vein featuring "orchestra hit synthesizer sound". Of the rest of three new Viola songs, 'We Owe Love' also holds dancefloor potential; the mentioned Pet Shop Boys (with a touch of 'Blue Monday'-era New Order) probably providing one major pointer to those uninitiated with Viola's bittersweet indie-disco sound.

    Also remixers here seem to represent the current Who's Who of Finnish indie and underground dance scene: Hannulelauri, Turku's "chiptune ninjas" Videovalvontaa, Regina, I Was A Teenage Satan Worshipper (with a dub-wise sound here), 22-Pistepirkko's sons Black Audio and Kiva a.k.a. Teemu Korpipää (who has also mixed Viola's own tracks on this album) with a trancey "stadium house" sound.

  • Album info @ Discogs
  • Viola @ Last.FM
  • If Society @ MySpace
  • Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    The Mythical Worlds of Drexciya and Dopplereffekt

    Dopplereffekt: "We had to sterilize the population"

    One of my favourite blogs is Drexciya Research Lab, which features thorough, analytical and well-written accounts on all things related to the mysterious Detroit-originated African-American electronic acts Drexciya (the late James Stinson with and without Gerald Donald), Dopplereffekt (Gerald Donald a.k.a. Heinrich Müller et al.) and Donald's countless side projects, both solo and with collaborators, such as Der Zyklus, Arpanet, Elecktroids, Japanese Telecom, Black Replica, Zwischenwelt, Zerkalo, and so on! Drexciya Research Lab lists now loads of YouTube and Flickr sites featuring videos (both fan-created and of live performances) and gig photos:

  • Dopplereffekt +
  • Dopplereffekt Live +

    There's also an interesting essay on Black Replica project.

    What is especially fascinating with Drexciya, Dopplereffekt and Gerald Donald's other projects is that they have created their own esoteric and cryptic mythologies around music, providing endless hours of pondering for those dedicated fans into deciphering possible coded messages, hints and hidden meanings from the tracks, record sleeves and so on (something that is also found with such cultish artists as Aphex Twin, not averse to playing around with his sometimes over-excited fans and their heated expectations); not lessened by the fact that very little biographical info has been offered on the creators behind these records (there's never any better media strategy than a carefully premeditated veil of mystery). With Drexciya it was the specific science fiction-type thematics of mythical African-based underwater creatures, whereas for Dopplereffekt it has been the controversial and provocative topics such as "racial hygiene" and pornography of their early electro sound-based EPs with consciously "white" European-style Kraftwerkian imagery (collected on Gesamtkunstwerk album); and from the second album on, with more experimental sound, the emphasis has shifted to the hard science of physics and quantum mechanics.
  • Friday, December 12, 2008

    Kompleksi Album Review @ Soundi 12/2008

    From Soundi 12/2008

  • Kompleksi: Sister Longlegs Dances In The Disco (Verdura Records, October 2008)
  • DJ Limpun Musiikkipläjäys

    Unfortunately she doesn't appear on DJ Limppu's mix

    You can find here the most peculiar musical performances of YLE Elävä Arkisto (the video/audio clip archive of Finnish Broadcasting Company), lovingly compiled by DJ Limppu.

    Instruments feature among all cowbell, typewriter, thinking machine and icehockey legend Raipe Helminen's air guitar. With such legendary performances as 'NMKY' by Gregorius, a male choir rendition by Aikamiehet of Maukka Perusjätkä's punk anthem 'Säpinää', an aria inspired by ex-Foreign Minister Ike Kanerva's amorous SNS messages, Finnish news anchors rocking, and more.

    Betty Page (1923 - 2008)

    Bettie Page 1950

    Bettie Page 1955

    Bettie's Punishment

    Betty Page (also spelled as "Bettie Page"), the iconic model of fetish, burlesque and pin-up photos in the 1950s has died at the age of 85.

  • More Betty/Bettie Page search results @ YouTube

    More obituaries:

  • BBC News
  • CNN
  • Jahsonic

  • Thursday, December 11, 2008

    Kompleksi @ Pitkämies, 31 January 2009

    Talking of which... ;) We were just asked to play a matinee gig (meaning it's in the afternoon) on Saturday 31 January 2009 at Pitkämies comics, clothes and recordstore (which also stocks our album) in Helsinki, so put the date to your calendars. Our own (Porno) Tampere is still dead gig-wise, but hey, c'est la vie.

  • Pitkämies in English @ Forbidden Planet International blog
  • We Are All Prost... Marketing Personalities

    Erich Fromm interviewed by Mike Wallace, part 1 [2] [3]

    Indie pop intellectual Momus on Erich Fromm's concept of "Marketing Personality" in his latest blog entry: "Notes on the Marketing Personality".

    The Pop Group put it more bluntly: "We Are All Prostitutes".

    Kirlian Crossing: Repeat and Repeat Vol. 4

    Kirlian Crossing: 'Distance' (2006)

    Kirlian Crossing is a Finnish act comprising at the moment Ilai Rämä (also of Siniaalto fame), Teemu Sinkko, JP Linna and Jussi Miettola. Inspired by Kirlian photography, they claim "the original idea was to combine acoustic folk songs into Soviet Union era science fiction in Tarkovsky spirit", "building microphones and effects", using "Soviet-made technology and Russian microphones" and "we've gone by channeling sessions, books, cinema. Eventually we've counterfeited UFO footage and looked the world through pinhole cameras. We are the chance of a dog wandering into the scene in Stalker". You can see their spooky Kirlian and pinhole photographs at their gallery.

    Repeat and Repeat Vol. 4 by Kirlian Crossing in their series of Net releases is out now at:

    From Kirlian Crossing:

    In the repeat there's quiet, developing change. Hopefully the changing never stops.

    This is our fourth series of downloadable records containing improvisations by Kirlian Crossing. (You'll find previous ones on the release series page). This series will contain nine volumes, released on the 2nd of each month until May 2009.

    You can download three types of .zip files:

    'wav', which is a .zip package including .wav files for cd-r burning, .mp3 files for free internet distribution and a printable cd-r cover (.pdf). 'mp3', which is a .zip package including the music in mp3-format 'cover', which is a .zip package including a printable cd-r cover 'torrent', which includes the same as 'wav'-package.

    Monday, December 08, 2008

    Chicks on Speed: 'Super Surfer Girl' 12"

    Chicks on Speed: 'Super Surfer Girl' (directed by Mariah Garnett, 2008)

    Chicks on Speed: 'Super Surfer Girl' (another version)

    Chicks on Speed announce the release of their new single Super Surfer Girl, with remixes by WhoMadeWho and Christopher Just. It's the soundtrack to a collection of clothes with Australian surf brand Insight.

    The song 'Super Surfer Girl' is also heard on Chicks on Speed MySpace page.

    The full-length album will be released in April 2009 on Chicks on Speed Records.

    Artist: Chicks on Speed
    Title: Super Surfer Girl
    Label: Chicks on Speed Records
    Label Code: 10673
    Label #: COSR41
    Indigo #: 920876
    Format: 12"
    UPC: 8 80918 10416 4
    Release: December 5th 2008

    A1. Super Surfer Girl - Original
    A2. Super Surfer Girl - Who Made Who Mix
    B1. Super Surfer Girl - "Surf Nazis Must Die" Christopher Just Remix

    Press release notes:

    It may be winter in central Europe, but somewhere it's hot hot summer, like in down under Australia.

    The Single 'Super Surfer Girl', in CHIX style, isn't just a song, but a full-blown international advertising campaign, based around a range of girls surfwear, COS designed in collaboration with Insight, Australia, titled "INSIGHT ON CHICKS ON SPEED" to be launched on December 5th worldwide, along with a video, by New York artist Mariah Garnett.

    Always with Attitude, the Chicks created the song Super Surfer Girl, as an anthem for surf babes the world over, poking fun at feminist theory, and yet, empowering and encouraging young women to take their destiny into their own hands. 'Super Surfer Girl' is WALL OF SOUND and the love of kitsch combined into a celebration of beach and rough surf culture.

    The Chicks; Melissa and Alex created Super Surfer girl with one of their collaborators, Kathi Glas and, A Scholar and A physician, with remixes by Christopher Just and Whomadewho, adding the Beach Boyesque la la's, so it isn't just something for the girls! Keep your eyes peeled and your boards waxed!

    Info @ Disko B

    Wednesday, December 03, 2008

    The Genius of The Octagon Man...

    ... a.k.a. J. Saul Kane.

    The Octagon Man: 'Free-er Than Free' (1989)

    The Octagon Man: 'Demented Spirit' (1990) [X-Mix version]

    Depeche Mode: 'Dream On' (The Octagon Man Remix) (2001)

    Too bad The Octagon Man alias of Kane (also known as Depth Charge) has been quiet for a while. His albums The Exciting World of Octagon Man, Itô Calculus and Magneton, and such 12"s as 'The Rimm/Phonic Maze', '10 Ft. Flowers', 'Vidd' and 'The Toy Boxx' (10") are nothing less than classics of abstract, percussive and abrasive electro sound, a path followed by far too few in a genre often dominated by retro copycats and recent kitsch trends such as electroclash (though I have to admit, to be able to make any proper judgment here, I've been too skint to purchase any new releases to keep up with what's happening in electro these days, or too lazy even to follow related discussion forums, so my own view must be quite retrospective, sigh). Well, I remember some material by Double Dutch for Marguerita Recordings was in a bit similar vein, but that too was years ago...

  • See also: Electron Industries, a sublabel of DC Recordings.

  • Monday, December 01, 2008

    Fashion Photographer Max Petrelius (1940 - 2008)

    Finnish fashion and commercial photographer Max Petrelius died on 16 November 2008. Petrelius, who might have been called "Finland's David Bailey", had been born on 5 May 1940. He studied in 1958 - 60 under Rolf Winquist in Stockholm.

    During his study trips to France in 1960 - 62 he got acquainted with the work of local commercial and fashion photographers. He had his own studio in Helsinki from 1960 to 1987, where several future fashion photographers learned their trade. As a highly sought-after fashion photographer Max Petrelius gained somewhat a star status in the 1960s Finland, with fashion companies, magazines and advertising agencies all competing to use his works.

    He collaborated with acclaimed fashion designer Vuokko Nurmesniemi [more] from 1964 onwards, and the photographs by Petrelius of Nurmesniemi's designs found their way to many international fashion and art publications. Also Artek was one those countless Finnish companies using Petrelius's services.

    In 1969 Petrelius, as a first fashion photographer ever, was granted Finnish State Prize for Photography and in 2000 State Artist Pension.

    More photos by Max Petrelius:

  • Villayhtymä, 1960s
  • Pyörre dress by Vuokko Nurmesniemi, 1966
  • Suunta dress by Nurmesniemi, 1973
  • Aida dress designed by Nurmesniemi, 1982

  • Vuokko by Vuokko Nurmesniemi
  • "One Night In Bangkok Makes A Hard Man Humble..."

    Murray Head: 'One Night In Bangkok' (1984)

    Especially if you're a Western tourist trapped in Suvarnabhumi airport... Continuing with the 80s theme: I remember having been not so fond of this ditty back in the day (yes kiddoes, uncle pHinn is old enough to remember the yuppie decade, sigh), but now I find it kind of catchy...

    From Chess, the musical of ABBA men Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. The lyrics ("...the queens we use would not excite you /
    So you better go back to your bars, your temples, your massage
    parlours") annoyed Thai authorities -- worried about Bangkok's seedy reputation as a safe haven for sex tourists -- so much that the song is banned in Thailand (though unofficially gets many plays there).

    pHinnWeb Chart December 2008...

    ... can be found here.