Kompleksi @ Basso 2/2009 (April 2009)
by Taru TorikkaTranslation from Finnish by pHinn. [Original Finnish version]
Seven years of maturing brings results. Now Kompleksi of Tampere underground impresarios create confusion also live.
Kompleksi is one of those bands for whose music a totally new genre should be invented. Its name could be eclectic electro, or, eclectro. Or would punky electronica be better? Alternative leftfield? This is how the founding member Mike Not describes it:
- Kompleksi represent chaos and order, a great deal of different styles combined as a strange trip. On the other hand it's difficult, yet so easy... in other words, complex-y.
The original Kompleksi members Mike Not and pHinn are veterans of Tampere's electronic music and club scene, involved there ever since the early-1990s warehouse parties. pHinn is known, not only as a DJ but also for his Website on Finnish electronic music, phinnweb.org. Mike Not has, alongside his solo project called Noise Production, also engineered, produced and offered his technical assistance from techno projects to hip hop by Nuera to gothic rock.
Kompleksi got its origins in 2002, when pHinn needed from Mike Not a remix for a compilation. The urge to create music remained. The debut album Sister Longlegs Dances in the Disco was released last October on Helsinki's Verdura Records; as is stylistically fitting, as a limited edition vinyl. When the third member, Everhad, joined, the band was able to launch live performances.
One can hear and see on Kompleksi's gigs an avalanche of influences, from classic electro artists and synthpop to techno, dub and house references to the DIY spirit of punk and psychedelic rock. pHinn's idiosyncratic vocalist character reflects some alienated Scott Walker or even the latter-day M.A. Numminen. Nothing is imitated, though: according to pHinn, the artist's responsibility is to create their own and new sound.
From familiar elements something peculiar and strangely touching has been created. Judging by audience's reactions, there's a need for Kompleksi. Why aren't they performing more often?
- It's not the lack of interest from us that we don't do more gigs. We are already accustomed to the fact that things are moving slowly, pHinn assures.
- I'm not too much into clubbing any more, I've already been through that scene. When I tried to create some sort of career as a DJ in a town the size of Tampere, a kind of disillusion often set in. It's more fruitful to create one's own music.
So, there will be more gigs also in the future. Kompleksi are planning cover versions and remixes, and demos for the second album can already be listened to in the Net. Their direction is typical for Kompleksi:
- We are going more for the mainstream consciousness, and still deeper underground, says Everhad.
Founded in 2002 The members: pHinn (vocals and keyboards), Mike Not (keyboards, mixing and production) and Everhad (laptop, mixing, vocoder and background vocals, keyboards) The debut album recorded in 2002 - 2006 was released last October on Verdura Records as a limited edition vinyl.
"We are going more for the mainstream consciousness, and still deeper underground"
© Taru Torikka / Basso 2009. Reprinted by permission.