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wnyc.org: "These musicians from Finland are making unusual music which seems unconfined by stylistic categories. They don't make a big distinction between songs and sound-textures, or even between composition and improvisation. Using voices, zithers, guitars, fiddles and flutes, as well as electronic toys, simple noise makers, digital delays and other electronic devices, they create music of hand-made, lacy delicacy and intense strength." listen here

( 0 ) 05.03.06    Tag: THE WIRE 250

with Islaja, Kuupuu, Lau Nau, Hertta Lussu Assa, Tomutonttu, Taikuri Tali on Brian Turner's show @ Radio wfmu

wfmu.org: For the last few years, the Finnish underground has been a fertile zone for tons of CD-Rs mixing abstract experimentalism, DIY-recording ethic, and fractured folk traditions (of both Finland and around the world). WFMU has been digging dozens of these recordings that have landed in our mailbox over time, and today we're thrilled to host a big batch of some of the scene's leading lights, making a rare visit to America. From the ladies: Islaja, Kuupuu and Lau Nau will each be turning in solo performances, and also will be collaborating as a trio called Hertta Lussu Assa. We'll also be hearing from Jan Anderzen (of famed groups Kemialliset Ystävät and Avarus) who makes solo music under the name Tomutonttu, and finally Taikuri Tali (who is Antti Tolvi of the groups Lauhkeat Lampaat, and Rauhan Orkesteri). Expect folky excursions in the Finnish tongue, primitive acoustic stringed and wind instruments, bells, percussion of all kinds, toy instruments, drones and an afternoon of beautiful, alien sounds. Listen here

( 0 ) 14.09.05    Tag: THE WIRE 250

From dustedmagazine.com: Hailing from Ulvila, Finland, Es is Sami Sänpäkkilä, a sound engineer, member of the experimental folk ensemble Kiila, day-to-day manager of Fonal Records and sometime collaborator with Kemialliset Ystävät. On Kaikkeuden kauneus ja käsittämättömyys (The Beauty and Inconceivability of Everythingness) Sänpäkkilä has cobbled together a warm mélange of glitch, musique concrete, drones, pulsars, lo-fi samples, vocals and live instrumentation that burns with the intimate glow of a bedside lap at 2 a.m.


Downloads from 3 CDs


( 0 ) 05.02.05    Tag: THE WIRE 250

From Massimo Ricci:
This music is claustrophobic and disturbing; its heavy atmosphere touches your nerves even only through its presence. A sense of menace without an explosion hovers around; the recited Russian texts sound like the madman's vision from a hill of an urban environment that's reaching its last stop. Sound and noise are sapiently linked, like if they came out of a giant, constantly out of tune broken radio. Guitars are skeletal and detuned, too; a bass riff accompanies darkish vocals in something resembling a damnation. Sometimes the jumble of frequencies is so thick, your woofers would like to say goodbye and go relaxing somewhere else. Fractured pulses, powerful mixing, it all gets more obscure as the minutes flow. A perfect isolationist soundtrack, it's also a very interesting broadcast of compressed rage and frustration, with a little humor brought by the sparse use of muzak loops.


( 0 ) 05.02.05    Tag: THE WIRE 250

Avarus combine psychedelic folk rock, motorik Krautrock, free jazz and modern noise into a totally mesmerising, totally unique modern avant noise/folk, unfurling lengthy meandering almost funereal jams, desolate and mournful, but dreamy and pastoral, machinelike and hypnotic at the same time. Strummed acoustic guitars frame distant throbbing caveman percussion, dreamy soundscapes are punctuated by occasional clang and clatter, all swaddled in the warm drone of amp buzz and ambient hum. Lo-fi, rambling, ramshackle blues jams mutate into wildly propulsive psych-folk with intensely strummed guitars and far-away flute melodies. Read More


( 0 ) 01.02.05    Tag: THE WIRE 250

Cul de Sac is a Boston-based group of critically acclaimed practitioners of unusual instrumental music who draw inspiration from the incantatory rhythms of Indian ragas, the complexities of avant-garde folk finger-picking, the cerebral excesses of '70s prog, the bouncy reverb of surf rock, and the energy of experimental music. Their exercises are far from academic, however; unlike a hell of a lot of rock-based instrumental music, Cul de Sac is fun and interesting to listen to, as the talented quartet is able to put a different twist on the now-distinctive Cul de Sac sound with each and every new composition (and indeed, often with new renditions of the same composition). More


( 0 ) 17.12.04    Tag: THE WIRE 250

While I was looking for some more information on Violet, I came across the archived version of the staalplaat mailing list which had several reviews of stuff by violet. But the review is nar to unreadeble, so I "took" it and puted it in a proper form here on my web log. I hope the people behind Staalplaat don't mind.

VIOLET - GREEN (CDR by Zeromoon)
NORMAL MUSIC - BREV (3"CDR by Zeromoon)
ZEROMOON SAMPLER (businesscard CDR by Zeromoon)

Here is a whole bunch of 3" CDRs by Zeromoon, the label from V. or Violet as it is called these days. Most of these releases are in very limited editions available, ranging from 23 to 50 copies per release. And it's like a who's who on the Zeromoon, with various cross connections and solo projects.

To start with Violet, the solo project of Jeff Surak (once of -1348- and New Carrollton, currentely of Second Violin and V. or Violet as his solo monniker). For 'Let The Sunshine In' he uses guitar, recordplayer, autoharp and tape. It's a kind of strange interaction going on that defies the categories such as 'improvisation' or 'composition' - maybe it's a combination of both. No doubt the use of a record player delivers the somewhat vague industrial character of some of the music, but it never gets to a point that it's too noisy or too industrial.

The only full length of the new lot on Zeromoon is "Green" by Violet. Captured in a live concert with sine wave, guitar and record player. The three tracks form a highly hypnotic affair of drone music. The first piece with it's pulsating and phasing ending reminded me of Jim O'Rourke circa 'Disengage'. 'Part B' is also rhythmical but with a certain amount of decay in the sound. As far as ambient goes, the final track might be it. One could be fooled for thinking that this is just a laptop work... Great stuff.

Second Violin was an improvisation group featuring Jeff Surak, Zann Hoffman, Adam Bohman and Rinus van Alebeek - I believe the latter two collaborated via the postal system. The busy as ever bee Andrey Kiritchenko remixes, or maybe more appropiate, recycles recordings by Second Violin in his "usual" laptop manner. None of the bands normal work can be easily recognized in here. It beeps and hisses, hums and hisses. Over the course of twenty minutes he works nicely through the material and transforms the pure acoustic material into pure electronic material.

From Second Violin member Rinus van Alebeek a limited release becomes available. He dwells entirely on field recordings for 'Kulissen Abriss'. A girl reading a letter, street sounds that seem recorded with a cheap recorder. Strange atmospheres, static hiss. It's hardly music going on here, but more a ready-made poem.
Normal Music is a trio, whom, I think, work by mail. It includes Jeff Surak (of Violet), Raphael Irisarri (of The Musique Concrete Ensemble) and Thomas Ekelund (of Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words). Knowing some of their music, I think the result is quite a surprise. Five tracks of beat oriented music, for which they use surface noise from vinyl and acoustic sounds. These are sampled and put into minimal beat stuff. Not something I haven't heard before (the influences are obvious Pan Sonic, Goem or Pole), but it's done rather nice and certainly adds to the genre. Less minimal Goem, louder then Pole and certainly as danceable as Pan Sonic. This deserves a full length release.

And if nothing of the above means anything to you, then I recommend getting the Zeromoon sampler. A business card CDR with five minutes of music, displaying no less then nine different bands, including the above aswell as Critikal, Second Violin, The Music Concrete Ensemble, V+Sumerki and Pleasure Girls.
Address: www.zeromoon.com

Taken from:

( 0 ) 23.11.04    Tag: THE WIRE 250

Violet is the current moniker for solo works by Jeff Surak, who has played in such projects as v., Normal Music, Critikal, Second Violin, -1348-, and New Carrollton and a multitude of collaborations and is also head of the label zeromoon.com . Organic irrational compositions, using electro-acoustic instruments and tape/cd/vinyl manipulations. Violet has performed across the USA and in Europe. <a href=swen.antville.org

Full album downloads at archive.org:

( 1 ) 23.11.04    Tag: THE WIRE 250

During the last few weeks, because of the death of John Peel, lots of People where posting a link to radio plus which is supossed to link to "Peel Sessions". But as stated on this great webpage, it is linking to single tracks of bands which had a Peel Session. The linked tracks aren't those from the Peel Session. A Peel Session is a whole show, isn't it?

The guy behind largeheartedboy.com has set up a link collection to real Peel Sessions, which can be downloaded

( 0 ) 23.11.04    Tag: THE WIRE 250

'Daniel Biro has a distinct passion for the Fender Rhodes electric piano, which can be heard swirling, stabbing and chiming with considerable subtlety throughout this sequence of six freeform compositions. The results of a single session with guitarist Rob Palmer in which both musicians draw upon a wide range of loops and effects, each untitled piece projects a deep sense of introspective warmth.' (The Wire)

( 0 ) 23.11.04    Tag: THE WIRE 250

From THE WIRE webpage: As an accompaniment to Matthew Wuetrich's look at the new generation of musicians to emerge from Finland in The Wire #250 December 2004, we present a number of tracks provided by some of the bands interviewed in the feature.
Download here

( 0 ) 23.11.04    Tag: THE WIRE 250

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