Nordling Writes ov Obskvrities: A March to a Programmed Beat

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Bleep bloop, mothafucka! Today let’s talk about something a little different: electronic music. Relax; not the kind of crap you can hear at the super-popular-WKND-fest. Today I shall talk about the progressive rock of electronic music (and frankly, progressive rock). There’s not much here to dance to, but you might still find something you enjoy. 

 Act I: The Finding

There were two major portals that led me to electronic music. The first wasgoing through my father’s record collection as a kid. I fell in love with prog, with which he had filled his shelves. Being a Finn and loving prog meant loving one band above all: Wigwam. Perhaps the most well-known Finnish prog band and one that would have become big – I mean really big – if they hadn’t shot themselves in the foot and head at the same time and effectively terminated their career abroad. Their second album, Tombstone Valentine marked many beginnings for me, not the least of which were directly caused by one minute and seven seconds called “Dance of the Anthropoids”. It was both wildly different and oddly similar to the band’s own output. The minimal electronic parts that just repeated over and over were quite far removed from Wigwam’s prog, even if it is relatively easy-access. Yet, when the complete song graced my ears, the lack of respect for traditional song-structure and the parts-after-parts-after-parts-approach reminded of an older prog band, Erkki Kurenniemi.

Despite my initial interest, Erkki Kurenniemi alone wouldn’t quite have me delving completely into obscure music.

The second push came a long time later, after I had begun to research Läjä Äijälä, frontman of Terveet Kädet. The Finnish Hardcore legend’s first electronic record, the debut of Aavikon Kone Ja Moottori was released in ’79, nine years after Tombstone Valentine. Despite having only released two one-sided singles, the bands proto-industrial effect proved massive. It’s even more minimal with no change or growth, and in this respect, it’s more reminiscent of noise-music than any rock or metal artist. I dare claim this slow and atmospheric style that commands as much attention as most technical of death metal with far, far less happening is the same that many years later became the very foundation of post-metal.

 

Act II: Skwee

Stripped down music working on a funky sound-carpet at best, random bleepilies and bloopilies on top of mindless humming at worst; such is the nature of Skwee. Synth and chiptune leads carve pathways to R&B-inspired rhythms and never let go of the golden 70’s sound of an analog synthesizer. It was a natural expansion to my library of various noises since I have always appreciated music that shies away from complexity without losing its impact, which must appear ironic, given my love of prog. Skwee draws from the very same well that doom- and post-metal units have been marauding since the beginning of time, but in a far more danceable manner (though Skwee certainly is not marketable or appealing to the masses). This relatively new style, originating in Sweden and Finland, is often credited to have been launched by Pavan‘s first 7″-singles in 2004. Accordingly the two labels you will want to check out are the Swedish Flogsta Danshall and the Finnish Harmönia.

Here, have some good Skwee; try to last until the minute mark.

Most of the new music that I have dug this year has not been metal, and this naturally means I have listened to a lot of electronic music as well. Some other artists I loved include Tähtiportti and Dan Terminus, neither of which really sounds anything like either of the above.

Tune in for the latter part, in which we shall talk more about Erkki Kurenniemi. I have a feeling many of you nerds may find the contents interesting even if you don’t care about the music.

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Do you like electronic music? Do you even care? Why can’t I ever fit anything into one post?

 

  • The W.

    Is this thing on?

    • Tyree

      Dank.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    listen to theErkki Kurenniemi song in the op–
    while watching both these vids –full vol —at the same time
    –did Harvey weinstein actually know he was helping orchestrate 911—or was he just ‘following orders”–as Clinton’s chief propaganda guy

    perhaps he thought 911 was justified —as a hit “against communism”–since he is pro u.n.—–yet he is also pro jewish—so maybe he got “used” by Clinton—for mass murder
    Harvey Weinstein’s movies suffer in quality–because of the p,c, bullshit propaganda agenda—–the bored casino owner —Weinstein suffers in a hell of his own making perhaps—-maybe he could turn to the good guys

    also I guess he too

    https://youtu.be/5IYw7ELNHbU
    https://youtu.be/RBF_vTsLe6w

  • TheRedman(formerly God ov All)

    I dig Dan terminus. This electronic stuff you posted is too…computery for me i guess? Like if I were to hear my laptop make any of those noises I’d freak out so maybe that’s why I can’t get into it. On the other hand, this exists: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hT0_64pGNq8

    • This was my fav rendition of this album! I also dug that GosT album. I think it’s a great soundscape.

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    I have the whole evening to slowly delve into some of these selections.

    • The Beargod

      Do it.

  • The begining of that Erkki Kurenniemi sounds like seal porn. This is some weird stuff.

    • The W.

      How much would that cost?

      • I’d probably have to break into a zoo, get the proper lighting, bribe the guards to look the other way, do hair and makeup on the seals. At least $20k to start.

  • The Beargod

    This wasn’t originally supposed to be a standalone. I honestly don’t think anyone here gives a shit about these bands.

    • The Beargod

      More possitive thoughts than expected. Nice, shame the initial Skwee links didn’t work for most.

      • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

        There’s a weird thing where alot of our links don’t work over there and Finland’s don’t work for some outsiders. WTF?!

    • CT-12

      Dude, don’t beat yourself up about it. I found it interesting and from what I can tell in the comments, so did other people. A lot of the times I usually don’t have the time or anything useful to comment, so I’ll just read the article without much of a response. Trust me, I read everyone’s contributions here and they all matter to me and help expand my musical palette. I also want to note that I (and I don’t doubt others) go back to past articles a lot of the time to further check out a certain band or genre of music (can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown people Gurp’s Death Metal 101 article).

    • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

      Sadly, it’s not working for me. 🙁

  • Hey, Karhu. The overall “vibe” of this older electronic music, like

    Erkki Kurenniemi is very very different of the other era.

    It’s not about the instruments, I think is the recording and the time when it was made.

    I don’t know how to explain it. But it’s like being inside the circuits of a mother board or something while watching a grainy B&W movie. The flavor is warmer and more organic, even when he (erkki) is still using electronic instruments.

    Despite my failed effort to describe what I’m feeling:

    Karhu, what made you feel listening that Erkki song? What evoked to you?

    Thanks for this piece. It’s very interesting.

    • The Beargod

      For me Kurenniemi (this music I posted) is like a logical problem, I think of it as math and like someone who enjoys math gets joy from a hard problem he solves, I find simimar joy in these pieces.
      I think it was he who went to an old power plant and recorded the hum of the generators, mixing and layering the tapes, altering the speed and made an album out of it.

      • When I finished the song it remembered me of this:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9BQ1ylApto

        It’s music, but it’s also exercises and experimentations. I think I can agree with you in that it’s more a mathy issue more than a complete musical one. Still, it’s very interesting and refreshing to delve into that.

        I finished the song of Aavikon Kone Ja Moottori. It was harsher, but more structured. The beep and the weird accents made me nervous. I’m going with next!

  • Scrimm

    Aaaaaand called in to work early. Have fun dudes.

    • 01001000 01100001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100111 01110010 01100101 01100001 01110100 00100000 01100100 01100001 01111001

  • Stanley

    Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on perspective), the Skwee links don’t work for me.

  • The Beargod

    Did anybody listen to Skwee? Do the links even work for anyone?

    • Tyree

      No.

    • The videos aren’t working for me neither.

      • The Beargod

        There are some on Ann Kulter’s comment. Different from these songs but some were Skwee-like.

        • I didn’t want to hear it until your approval 😛 Now I can.

          • The Beargod

            Kinda new to Skwee myself but I think Pavan is easily the best and that’s why I linked it twicd. Also a little different (funkier) than these, but I reckon these will work.

        • This is very 70’s funk and reggae sounding.

    • Not working for me.

    • Shrimp in a Pizza Box

      Worked for me, was pretty good actually.

  • Beargod, what are your thoughts on this dark synth 80 style music?

    I’m liking this too. GosT, I need to delve more into Dan Terminus and Perturbator (I only listened some songs, not entire albums).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HybAwludnkw

    • Tyree
    • The Beargod

      Dan I mentioned briefly here and I like Perturbator too. And Nightsatan but they are a little different, debut eapecially.
      I have only heard two GosT songs but they’re quite nice. Not as nice tho. Generally I lile this kind of music, Carpenter, Vangelis and others such.

      • *taking notes in the #LinkNotebook*

        Thanks, Karhu!

      • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

        Finally found a playlist for Skwee, and loving it! The time changes are sorta IDM, but with synth lines.

        • The Beargod

          I like that you like it.

          • Lilo’s Penis Tornado (KJU)

            Where is the Tapir? Haven’t seen him around.

          • The Beargod

            I killed the fucker.

          • Lilo’s Penis Tornado (KJU)

            Noooooooooooooo!

    • Stanley

      I might have to check this Dan Terminus out. I like a bit of Perturbator.

    • I can totally get down with this kinda stuff.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      I fucking love synthwave, good find.

    • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

      I love dark synth, as well as the minimal wave/darkwave stuff that came from it! 😀

      • Jajajaja, I thought in you with this post, bro! 😀

        • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

          Hehe gracias, tomador! 😉
          Check out that Welle:Erdball video I put up a few comments up!

  • Thank you for this learnative article, Beardeity. That Erkki Kurenniemi thing is intriguing. Like the soundtrack to a sentient computer having a panic attack.

    As for skwee I say skwee can go bleep itself.

  • CT-12

    Interesting article man, I’ve been getting more and more into music like this so this was a nice primer to figure out what I should look into, and maybe avoid as well. Unfortunately though, the skwee vids you posted didn’t work for me for some reason. Nonetheless, thanks for the post man, keep ’em coming!

  • INCREDIBEARD

    “Bleep bloop, mothafucka!” is a great intro to an article.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

    I’ll slide this one over, for those bitpop lovers out there (aka, where they use both newer equipment, but mostly old old 8-bit sounds, especially Commadore 64 and Atari. Think Crystal Castles. Half of WE’s song are about how much they love the C64).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qi5N2tq5VpQ

  • Lilo’s Meatflaps Of Doom (KJU)

    Wigwam, as in that god fucking awful glam band that won the Eurovision thingy?!? GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!