Panasonic Live at Tulliklubi, Tampere, 18 October 1996
Just saw Panasonic to perform live here in Tampere after a long, long wait. Panasonic has now diminished to a duo of Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen, since Sami Salo is now in the army (obligatory for all young Finnish males) and is going to concentrate on his career as a photographer. The show in itself didn't let down any 'Sonic fan, though I wish their set would have been longer (partly something to do with the unreliability of the analogue gear the are using, I suppose?). The music was their typical whooshing, scratching (though not in the DJ/hip hop sense) and abrasive style, familiar to anyone from their 'Osasto' EP, with an oscilloscope chart projected behind the band's heads as (in a literal sense) a visual background, so you could not only hear their music but also see it. At their highest the sounds accelerated to an almost acid-style bubbling, and it was funny to see people even try to dance to Panasonic's minimal twiddlings. Itwas nice to notice, though, that even in our tiny townseems to have people orientated towards Sähkö/Panasonic's music, and you just didn't see folks gaping with their mouths open with sheer amazement, but I think many of those people were there just out of curiosity and drawn by the word of mouth, and also by one well-known Icelandic elf-like starlet , who has expressed many times how much she digs Sähkö's music.
After the gig I had a chance to have a chat with Mika Vainio, who turned out to be a very sympathetic person, not a bit like some coldtechnological diva British tabloids have described Panasonic's people to be, and I had a chance to do a kind of mini-interview there. Obviously the promised gig with the legendary Suicide has been postponed to somewhere in 1997, but Panasonic, continuing as a duo as said, will provide the background music to a London art gallery during November, and new album will be out on Mute in January. There will also be some new solo stuff from Mika on Tension Records. Then I shaked hands with Mika, and I went to another party where DJ Infekto was spinning drum'n'bass and trip hop, but that's another story.