a (very) brief history of
by pasi "jana" janhunen
ADVANCED ART was one of the flagships of the Finnish synth scene from 1985 to 1995. The creative core of the band consisted of Jana (voice & words) and Vince (music & machines).
The band took its first steps in 1985. Jana and Pete, old schoolmates, met Vince through a mutual friend. Originally they meant to swap some records, but somehow ended up forming a band. Otto A joined in, and the band -- at the moment called Abstract -- recorded its first demo, mostly at Ottošs kitchen. The first gig took place in November '87, now under the name Authorized Version. The media could never spell the name correctly, so in February '88 the band got a new one: ADVANCED ART.
Later that same year AA, again back to Jana-Vince-Pete line-up, recorded their first demo for commercial release. It was rather awful, actually, but sold out in a matter of days. AA felt very guilty about this, honestly. A couple of 7"s were recorded for the newborn Darklands Records, originally for promo purposes in order to get a proper deal.
Advanced Art were an active live act since the late 80s. AA never actually toured but instead played loads of one-off gigs, from the more traditional pop venues to illegal warehouse parties. The stage set always seem to depend on the mood of the band: some of the early gigs featured a tape recorder in the finest Soft Cell tradition, at Helsinki Cable Factory Vince's small black Fiat was driven to stage to serve as Petešs percussion stand.
In May '90 AA recorded a new demo "clandestine", copies of which spread abroad as well. The tape received a lot of positive response from abroad, whereas Finnish record companies kept sending AA more or less abrupt rejection slips. Pete was replaced by Reeta who had already appeared on gigs, and AA re-recorded "clandestine" in January 91 - this time the attempt was a success.
Poko Rekords signed the band in February '91. The deal was just what the band wanted: freedom to choose the songs to be recorded, to design record covers, the lot. Their first Poko release was a 12" "Scar", which came out in June '91. Two videos were made with minimal budget to promote the 12", both of which ended up on MTV's 120 Minutes. Videos became an integral part of AA live performances; the record itself received good reviews from magazines around Europe and appeared on techno/electronic playlists of various radio stations.
A new member was initiated at the end of January '92. The new percussionist Jarkko aka Factor had to prove his live capabilities the hard way: his first AA gig was filmed by the Finnish national network for a new TV live music series. Reeta stepped aside as soon as Factor was housebroken. The next release was a cd-maxi "Time", released in May '92. Much to everyone's surprise it stayed six weeks in the Finnish top 20.
Advanced Art's debut long play CD Product was released in January '93. Interestingly enough, the vocals were recorded in Vince's sauna which partly explains their nice claustrophobic feel. A few months later Jarkko returned to work with his own project Neuroactive while the "official" AA line-up was reduced to Jana and Vince. For live performances AA was now joined by their old friend P.W. who took care of percussion.
Having once again violated a few deadlines AA released "Force" in February '94. The record release gig took place in Umeå, Sweden. The rest of '94 was mostly spent building a new studio that was to become both the musical headquarters for AA and Vince's full time job.
In the spring of '95 Advanced Art wrote new material that was never released since Jana and Vince found neither enough time nor energy to properly work on an album. The band went on to appear on a couple of compilations, including a tribute CD to Alivaltiosihteeri, a well-known Finnish comedy/pop group. The release gigs of this CD were to become AA's last. The final gig appropriately ended with a heavily AA-treated cover version of an Alivaltiosihteeri track "Te olette huono yleisö" - roughly translated as "You are a lousy audience".
Jana and Vince decided to discontinue ADVANCED ART on the band's tenth anniversary, October 13th 1995. And just to prove one should never say never they got together in '98 to record two songs for the first ever compilation by Control Records, Vince's brand new label.
Advanced Art were:
VOICE - JANA
MACHINERY - VINCE
... and featuring (in order of appearance):
Pete - synths, percussion, general pop credibility
Otto A (aka Auten) - machinery, live sound engineering
Reeta - synths, 2nd voice
Jarkko (aka Factor) - programming, live percussion
P.W. - live percussion
Info provided by Pasi Janhunen [ firstname.lastname@example.org ].
The Official Advanced Art Site @ MySpace
Advanced Art @ Discogs
[FinnScene Early - Synthpop] [Finnish Electronic Music - The Early Years]