Last time updated: 7 January, 2004


Dystopia interview, Turun Sanomat, 16 February 1999 (in Finnish)

dystopia history

Dystopia is a two-man project from Turku, Finland. The project has been active since 1995 and consists of Ismo Virta (guitars and effects) and Pertti Grönholm (electronic instruments and effects). The Second Dawn is the first album by the project. Some of the material on the album has been previously available on the compilation album Freeze II (Cyberware Productions 1995).

The music of Dystopia is probably closest to the dark wave genre, in which echoes of both industrial music of the 1980s and older ambient music can be heard. The sonic landscape of the Second Dawn album is constructed from guitar walls, synthetic and acoustic sounds, and documentary material. The purpose has been to create a thought-provoking and atmospheric sonic work which focuses on the status of science and technology in modern society and the side-effects of the rapid progress of technology. The special theme on this particular album is the use of nuclear power and the risks involved therein.

Dystopia have two working procedures: first, the use of digital technology involving samplers and sequencers, and secondly, improvisation based on intuition and chance. Some of the tracks are a fruition of years of careful construction. For instance, the first versions of Core Melt and Technocracy date back to the beginning of the 1990s. On the other hand, tracks such as Into the Deep and The Second Dawn have been developed rather quickly, as their main focus has been to capture momentary atmospheres by free-form use of instruments and sounds.

Ismo Virta (b. 1962) has played in several Gothic groups around Turku, and before Dystopia has also composed dark wave instrumentals and sound collages with cartoonist Timo Niemi, the most important of these being Probe I-VI sequence which was produced for Ambient City Radio broadcasted in Helsinki 1994.

Pertti Grönholm (b. 1966) is one of the pioneers of Finnish techno and ambient music. He has composed music and sonic landscapes for instance to the radio and art galleries since the latter part of the 1980s. He is best known from his Corporate 09 project, which is currently produced by Sauna Connections. Under the name of Corporate 09 Grönholm and Mika Vainio (Ø, Pan sonic) have produced an album called Mindprobe and an EP entitled In Joy We Trust (Castle Communications 1991). Grönholm's performances can also be found on compilation albums both in and outside Finland, for example on the Barramundi label of the Belgian Antler-Subway, and on the Unitunes label of Sähkö Recordings and Dum Records.


NOTE: click images to see larger versions of them.


The Second Dawn Sound 20
Origo Sound
1. Destroyer (4:37)
2. Core Melt (7:22)
3. The Chamber (3:25)
4. Breaking News (0:29)
5. When the Wind Blows (8:35)
6. Technocracy (7:31)
7. The Dice (1:38)
8. Shelters (5:03)
9. Three Seconds (0:30)
10. Sands of Sinai (10:34)
11. Dark Ages (0:28)
12. The Unforeseen (2:32)
13. Into the Deep (10:15)
14. The Second Dawn (10:54)

Total: Time: 73:58

Dystopia are:
Pertti Grönholm, synthesizers, samplers and tapes;
Ismo Virta, guitars and effects

All compositions were written and performed by Pertti Grönholm except "Shelters", "Into the Deep" and "The Second Dawn", which were written and performed by Pertti Grönholm and Ismo Virta. All tracks were recorded and mixed by Pertti Grönholm at Disaster Village, Turku, Finland between August 1996 and January 1997. Mastered by Morten Lund and Harald Lervik at Masterhuset, Oslo, Norway. Cover design and artwork by Harald Lervik. Dystopia photograph by Timo Jerkku. "Gasmask" photograph by Jyrki Valkama. "Devastation" photographs by Thomas Nilsen, Bellona. Some tracks contain additional documentary material from various audiovisual sources.

(P) 1998 Dystopia © 1998 Origo Sound & Dystopia.

Special acknowledgement to Aatos Heikkinen and Olli-Pekka Leppänen.


Groove Unlimited



YLEISRADIO: Radiomafia/Musiikkituotanto (Helsinki, Finland)

Born Wounded

A composition made to order by Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE2, Radiomafia) for the Avaruusromua show.

Composed by Pertti Grönholm and Ismo Virta. Recorded and mixed by Pertti Grönholm. Mastered by Pertti Grönholm and Ismo Virta. Total time: 27:40, For broadcast only. First broadcast 25th of May 2000.

Performed by Dystopia:

Pertti Grönholm: Synthesizers, samplers and tapes
Ismo Virta: Synthesizers, guitars and effects
Produced by Jukka Hakoköngäs at YLE
(p) & © Dystopia and Finnish Broadcasting Company 2000

Contact: pergro@utu.fi


Copyright © pHinn / Dystopia 1999-2004