Thursday, 31 May 2012

last time we spoke

Thursday is always such a great day. Full of prospects of the upcoming days off :) Slow Club knows how to make it even more cheerful. Well, at least melodically. Lyrically it's slightly bitter. But that's the blend I like the most.

last time we spoke I thought we were through
I found a map

(...) look me up in some phone book
under Me and You

a good beat & 4 am sunrise

Hmmm... I am dangerously in kind of an electro mood... and I guess positively heading towards summer light with a good beat. Beat Connection.

a good (night) song from KAMP!

hold on to the world you've been dreaming of (...)

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

tango in Arkadia

The good feeling of Tuesday just kept on continuing yesterday. In the afternoon I could see and pictured the joy of people embracing the passion of tango in the best bookstore in town: Arkadia. What a day!

Meet the neo tango masters : Tanghetto.

neglected spaces

Yesterday was an amazing Tuesday. I have this weird attitude towards that day. It's such a soulless day. Even newspapers are somehow less interesting. Tuesdays have no passion in them. But yesterday was far from that. By a very fortunate stroke of luck I was able to watch live concert streaming from Sydney Opera House where Imogen Heap presented her songs from the upcoming album she's been working on since March last year. The Heapsongs! She gave an outstanding performance and took me into the spiral of sounds she created. I forgot what a great storyteller she is! The story that stayed vivdly within me was the one of abandoned places that inspired her to write the Heapsong number 3 - Neglected Spaces. The video was illustrated live by Sara Maycock (who is responsible also for Tom Williams and The Boat album's cover).

If you stand up for me, I'll stand up for you.
(...) If you'll take care of me, I'll take care of you.If you be good to me, then I'll be good to you.

Oh... I'm a story in mourning, and you're the author
So pour out your masterpiece.

Entropy increasing, how long before I'm dust?

Can we discuss?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

the music of combat

Watching the documentary (Dimanche à Bamako) about Amadou & Mariam last Sunday, one artist came to my mind: Tiken Jah Fakoly. In the documentary Mariam stressed the importance of music in Africa saying that musicians have much more power of delivering messages to people than anyone else. Musicians are being listened to there. Their music is a weapon of waking up the awareness. This one from Tiken Jah Fakoly is absolutely the one to be shared. Take action against female genital mutilation and find out more here.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Bamako on my music map

Weekend intensively packed with both work (that actually didn't feel like work) and relaxation. A week without a weekend? Or perhaps a weekend that is still vividly echoing during the last minutes of Monday. Either way, it brought not only meetings with those I haven't seen in a while, but also marked distinctively new places on my music map. Bamako (sadly struck recently by these unfortunate events) brought to me music of a good  message and vibes. Please meet Amadou & Mariam and enjoy this fantastic animation.

The video was directed by Aurélia Vernhes, Clement Bolla and Laurent Gillot. For more credits see the details here.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

musical blender | musical "balagan"

Sunday morning vibes are delivered by Kabbalah with their musical "balagan". "Balagan" in Hebrew means "mess". In Polish it means the same (written almost in the same way: bałagan). And it's a real mess: "Polish Châabi meets Russian Violin plugged into analogue synths (low-fi, please) short-circuited by Cameroonian Ndolé and some weird Berliner back from New York." Can it get even more complicated? :) It actually can: "What you get is Slam Rock, Yid Hop, a Golem on Kongo Square and maybe some Bikutsi Punk." (as it is stated on their website). It was nice to see their musical tornado with no boundaries yesterday.

Video by Fred Falques.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Bassy's bossa nova in Basaa

Cameroon has a special place on my music map. You can find Richard Bona there. And now Blick Bassy and his bossa novas sung in Basaa language.

stealing sheep and shutting eyes

... to your bed. Better for your head. Stealing Sheep seems to be sending me a message. Much appreciated. Good. Night.

Meet the creator of the video Rivkah Gevinson.

Friday, 25 May 2012

blueprints and plans

I've been sketching the whole evening plans for ideas that were cocooned in my head for quite a while. They look much more vivid when written on the paper. I like this blueprint. To London I also went with a plan. Or more a list. It was a list of concerts I wanted to see. The one that stayed in my mind, as I happened to mention already, was Clock Opera's show in Rough Trade East store located in Brick Lane in the East End. On my way there I was wondering about the identity of certain parts and streets of London. I was probably brought into such thinking thanks to Zadie Smith's book I was reading during my stay there and also upon seeing photographs of Don McCullin. Therefore I was tuned into a detective mode of sensing distinctive features of certain London places.

"East End  (...) was full of filthy people. Now, apparently, it was sort of place where perfectly normal people lived. A blonde in a long powder-blue overcoat holding a portable computer and a pot plant, an Asian boy dressed in a cheap, shiny suit that reflected light like beaten metal - it was impossible to imagine these  people populating the East London of his earlier memory." And his earlier memory would be from around 40 years ago. I myself found Brick Lane a perfect place to be and it was the only place I went twice during my short stay in London.

So anyway, the concert was great and I don't even have to mention that it felt like heaven being in Rough Trade Store that has also a small cafeteria inside (sic!). After the concert I talked briefly with Guy Connelly (vocals, guitars) and Andy West (THE bass). Andy mentioned that the wildest and warmest audience the band has met so far was in Island and also Sweden. Promising. So Finland: are you ready for Clock Opera to come? :) I am. And I will make it happen.

Meet the director of the Man Made video Ben Reed and listen to Opera Clock's remix of Metronomy's  The Bay. Brilliant.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

postcard from 1952

To extend the moments of my London trip I went to see The Deep Blue Sea based on a Terence Rattigan's play. It worked out quite well and actually gave a new perspective (of London in the 1950s). Explotions in the Sky's video also extends the moments (in their case of some random pictures from the 1950s) and additionally creates very cinematic sonic world around my ears. No wonder their sounds blend easily into the visual.

Meet the directors of the video Annie Grunn and Peter Simonite and see the behind-scenes of the project.

“When you're between any sort of devil and the deep blue sea,
the deep blue sea sometimes looks very inviting.”  Terence Rattingan

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

my heart has many heartbeats

When coming back to old tunes, you soothe yourself. I come back to such when it's hard to find appropriate words or when solutions are way too abstract and beyond logical thinking. Empathy is today's key word.

Lifeline, before and after in an instant of great white gravity
(...) won't you lend a hand to pull me through?
Who? What? When?All in one stir of a teaspoon
I'm shaken and gasping for air

Monday, 21 May 2012

it's all about the moon

It's all about the moon and small towns these days. The moon that I barely see and small towns I visited over the weekend.

but there is a small town in my mind (...)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

it was such a good day

Speaking of something that is incomparable and unique: another fantastic tune form Cat in the Box. It feels pretty schizophrenic to hum this Bad Day chorus while the day was actually superb and splendid. But then again, thinking of the band's origins: is the cat dead or life? An entangled duality. :)

good city vibes

Lots of good city vibes from Regina Spektor: Bronxy Bronx, New York, Paris, Lexington. Off I go now to Helsinki downtown and its vicinity where snow slopes have luckily thawed quite a while ago already ;)

down in Bronxy Bronx the kids go sledding
down snow covered slopes and frozen noses, frozen toes
and the frozen city starts to glow.
and yes they know it will pass
and yes they know New York will thaw
but if you're a friend of any sort
then play along and catch a cold


Confusion continues with the weekend consisting from four days and me being two days out of town. But how much I wish such weekends were even longer! Those wonderful days had a fantastic kick off with an absolutely brilliant performance of Elifantree in Korjaamo on Wednesday. Being a hopeless case of a sound sponge and bombarding myself with numerous music press I can't escape this danger tendency of comparing bands with other musical acts. But with Elifantree it doesn't work. They are just what they are. And they are a sonic feast! Three people who passionately engage themselves on the stage are a true pleasure for the ear and eye. All of them captivating and crafty with Anni Elif Egecioglu driving special attention due to her rich voice and stage presence. Without any hesitation, I can say this was one of the best live music acts I have ever seen. And all that with great people around me.  

The video was directed by Vilhelmiina Vilhunen.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

bent tunes | dizzy, dizzy!

Dizzy dizzy! I am dizzy from all the light that is flooding my room after 10 pm! Mischievous Helsinki spring sun causing confusion, welcome back! Bentcousin from Brighton/London will perhaps find out one day about this kind of dizziness. For now they are trying to get to Meadowlands Festival. Let's hope they'll make it! The band caught my attention a while ago with their cool and unpretentious music attitude and yes, they happen to rule as they claim themselves :) Plus they do comics (see more here), which is simply a perfect combination for me.

a good song from Girls Names

Read more on Girls Names here.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

cicadas and gulls

The day intensively spun around connections. I spoke to dozens of strangers and to dozens of those I know well. Discovered new places and biked in the night. Summer is boldly approaching and city awakening. Liberating and overwhelming feeling in the middle of May.

cicadas and gulls
they scrape on the hull
the land and the sea
they're distant from me

I'm in the sky, sky, sky

I'm in the sky

(...) as high as a stage

as full as a room

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

sharing belongings

The best experience of my trip to London: Clock Opera's concert in Rough Trade East store. The best experience of today: clearing my mind. And my desk at the office! Both: huge things!

The video was directed by Andy West, the bassist of Clock Opera. Cool!

I store all my secrets in boxes and files
I keep my belongings with me at all times
until I can carry no more (...)

we move our belongings, we surround ourselves
with duplicate copies of books on our shelves
and too many mirrors combining our lives
until we can't tell them apart

Sunday, 13 May 2012

to change the rules of time

Sunday morning energetic vibes are delivered from fantastic Foe! Even though she claims she's "singing and songwriting in the twilight zone" I dare to post it during midday. Perhaps it sounds even more powerful due to the contrast. She flirts with comics which is a great joy for me and makes her one of my favourite artists I keep an eye on now. Find out more on how the visual brings her songs into life here. Oh, I so much need to get a copy! :)

Meet the director of the video Philippa Bloomfield.

tonight I'll try to change the rules of time

a good (night) song from Tape Runs Out

Saturday, 12 May 2012

honey tears

The reminiscences of my recent trip to London are still echoing vibrantly in my player. Christof, who gave a wonderful performance before the concert of The Staves, gives me something I can hold on tight to for now and sets the rhythm to my steps as I walk in the city during these days.

Video was directed by Martijn Kuijten and Jeroen van de Nieuwenhof.

charlie chaplin rang me last night (...)
oh yes, he is the greatest actor
and yes he said I'll die of laughter 

Friday, 11 May 2012

closer to summer

Speaking of Sam Pilling, I wonder why I still haven't shared his work of Wu Lyf.
I guess because it's more of those matters that are closer to summer.

these ships set sail
sail on you and me
these ships set sail
I just wanted to be free

this place so lonely but nah don't settle down
just hear the beat drown over all this lonesome sound

however bad, hold on hold on hold on

SBTRKT puts your feelings so exposed within a scale of his sounds. I've been out of the loop during the last few days with way too many things on my mind. But, however bad, I do hold on... and rearrange my summer plans: SBTRKT, Warpaint and Metronomy on Opimus Alive in mid July in Lisbon.

Meet the director of the video Sam Pilling.

you're giving me the coldest stare, like you don't even know I'm here
why don't we turn the leaf? why don't we turn the leaf?
(...) whatever you've done, however bad, hold on hold on hold on


Bernardo Sassetti has passed away. Truly sad news.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

milk & honey

I actually substitute milk with oat drink. I slightly warm it up, then add a bit of honey, a pinch of cinnamon and cardamom. A perfect drink for a sore throat. And for a general uneasy way of being I suggest Hollie Cook's album that Rough Trade listed as one of the top albums of the year 2011. Well judged and diagnosed. I feel fully cured with it.

it's time to laugh all alone in your room
if only you could shine through the darkness, yes 
hey in the day in the night you dine
and so far the reason you feel lonely
you should try (...)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

take me back there tonight

waveforms, reach through my mind and take me back there tonight 
the reverb I feel, it signals to me, it’s never been far from sight
a long time ago, my heart was in two
it's written in black and white
the rhythm machine through the smoke and the screen
their heads in the hills tonight

oh you wanna know why all these rivers run dry
and when I see you again, I see it there in your eyes

radar, scanning my mind, lost in the clouds above
the rattle of drums, the click of my thumb, their eyes in the hills below

touch it, break it, shake it yeah
take it apart and break it yeah
try to rearrange it yeah
couldn't recreate it yeah

Meet the director of the video Kim Coleman and the director of photography Jake Scott.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

time tick tock

Oh, time goes by but the trees here are still not as green as I wish them to be. I need some good vibes to cheer me up and they come from this fantastic trumpeter virtuoso Maurice Brown I had an inevitable pleasure to see during Marcus Miller's concert last Friday in Southbank Centre in London. It was simply stunning. The whole band simply rocked jazz!

Monday, 7 May 2012

see the colours of another sky

I actually went to London to see another sky even though it does not differ much from the one I am used to. I went to detach myself and to make a new place mine. On my first day in London last Tuesday I embraced the city wholeheartedly. Or so the city embraced me in that way at once. It was this strangely familiar feeling of being home in a place that I haven't been to before. I strolled lazily through many places heading in the evening to Nothing Hill to see The Staves, a band I discovered in January this year. There was a bit of drama at the beginning as the show was sold out and I didn't know weather or not I will get a ticket. I was luckily advised by a lovely staff of Tabernacle (a fantastic place where the concert was held) to wait as there would surely be someone who would not pick up their ticket. There was. One ticket left. And I got it! :) And so the London gig of The Staves started. It was superb. Warm, full of harmony and witty, supported by a charming set delivered by Christof (he deserves a separate post later on :)). I couldn't have imagined better start of my first trip to England. It was a bit chilly on my way back from Nothing Hill. Well, "it is never really very cold in England (...), but still a decent jumper and a waxen jacket lined with wool is sufficient for every weather England's got to give." as Zadie Smith writes in her book On Beauty that accompanied me during this trip. A decent jumper I left in Finland. But it really didn't matter that evening.

Meet the director of the video Myles O'Reilly.

counting the winters | numb to the cold

Sunday, 6 May 2012

...for there is in London all that life can afford

Came back from London last night. Fully recharged. Fully relaxed. With loads of brilliant British sounds in my ears. It should come as no surprise that Django Django was accompanying me on the way from the airport.

Meet directors of this session Will Hanke and Jamie Roberts and read more about Blackbox Sessions here.