club telex, 26 may 1999
"There is no difference between Noise and Music in my work. I have no idea what you term "Music" and "Noise". It's different depending on each person. If "Noise" means uncomfortable sound, then pop music is noise to me."
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Yesterday's Club Telex: ear-shattering anti-pop noise experimentation and pissed-off customers; having a laugh both at scared little pop "in-crowd" and narrow-minded music purists. So we must have gotten something right.
First, though, the audience was in for a rare short film treat: Sähkö the Movie - directed by Jimi Tenor - was about the legendary Finnish minimal techno label, Sähkö Recordings, which gave the world both Pan sonic's sparse bleeps and Tenor's campy lounge music. The film was something not put easily to words. Actually it was a non-linear collection of the Pan(a)sonic guys, Sähkö's Tommi, Jimi Tenor, Mono Junk and the whole posse fiddling around in Turku, Hellsinki, Glasgow, New York and other ugly-looking places; on the murky pieces of Super-8 film, some stuff probably transferred from video to film, etc. With a great soundtrack from Mika Vainio and early versions of Jimi Tenor songs like "Downtown" and "Take Me Baby". The film looked respectably Polish, if you know what I mean; exactly capturing the overall cheapie style of Sähkö.
Time for the evening's first act. Virtalähde of Tampere played a one-man set with his mighty modular synth and considerable gear arsenal; a Russian propaganda film from the early 80's was projected on the screen above him, and Mr. Virtalähde managed to create a respectable amount of noise well comparable to the Japanese noisemeisters à la Merzbow & Masonna. Like the Futurists, who were thrown with rotten vegetables during their performances in the early decades of the 20th century, this provoked too some scared and angry reactions from the bemused pop audience, who escaped to the bar, or just as with this unfortunate fellow in Depeche Mode t-shirt, who shouted: "Go to hell with your machines! People become deaf here!" and furiously ran out of the building. Fucking hilarious, to be honest. Unfortunately, Virtalähde's ear-shattering set was cut abruptly because of some failed cable, but most people probably thought that was part of the show, so that was quite stylish ending, in fact. Ultimate wind-up, and Virtalähde deserves our undivided respect for that.
Ektroverde [click here for full image gallery]
Ektroverde's set fit well to this. If you have heard some live shows by their "main band", Circle of Pori, well, let's just say that Circle's monotonous riffery is sheer pop music compared to Ektroverde's eklektik output. Their lone keyboard player looked in his hat like a lost fisherman from outer space, and he was joined by other space cadets, such as messieurs J. Lehtisalo and T. Elo of Circle, and also the guy from Kiila who played that mechanical and simple theremin of pre-electric era, saw. Totally we saw a group of eight people jamming (if that's the right word) on stage, performing endless, disorientating Krautrock riffs and galactic frequencies. Mika Taanila (the director of Futuro) projected to the screen film test cards, hand-painted slices of celluloid, some stuff that looked like cut-ups from the 60's fashion commercials and so on. Unfortunately this experiment was jarred by some technical problems too, but what we saw worked fine in this context.
Also DJ pHinn managed to irritate some members of audience: by playing at the end of night some obviously too "poppy" songs such as Kent's 'Om du var här'. This caused a mass escape of NME-reading style hygiene purists who ran home to masturbate with their postrock albums. It is always amusing to notice how closed-minded these supposedly "avantgardist" people can actually be. The additional outcome of this unfortunate incident was that pHinn got nervous breakdown and had to be taken to a mental asylum to recover. The diagnosis was imminent and incurable discophrenia. It is not known if pHinn will ever become well again, since - tied to his strait-jacket - he keeps gazing with his insane, empty eyes and constantly threatens the doctors and nurses of his mental institution, by claiming that he is going to play a 2-hour marathon of Aqua (esp. 'Barbie Girl'), Cher and Madonna at the next Club Telex.
All in all, a night to remember, so big, big thanks to all, each and everyone who participated.
PS. This time we had about 105 paying customers and probably the same amount of VIPs etc.