Saturday, October 17, 2009


A newish 7" EP of mangled, beautifully overwraught Guitar n Groovebox-driven SpazRaveElecktro anthems from long-time Kid Shirt Finnish fave Fricara Pacchu, who's a sometime member of Maniacs Dream.

As tough and gnarly as a bucketful of iron-ore nuggets. Blocked-drain sturm und drang.

No, wait: flip the flipping thing and it sounds like some Chinese Kick-Boxing Epic gone Musique Concrete; a koto salesman on his way to a rave in a clapped-out Vauxhall Vectra. Oddly melodic and strangely touching. This is followed by what sounds like a vintage John Carpenter s/track excerpt but w/ a churning cement-mixer drum-sound. *checks needle for fluff* Nope: "The roil/the concrete is boiling": Grrrunch-Grrrruntttch! Orbital fruit-machine noises and a distant choir. Beautifully strident, the song marches off into the sunset on pneumatic robo-legs.

Seriously, though, this is one of the most wonderfully playful pieces of electronic 'Pop' I've heard in a while - tho I'm sure, I mean, Fricara probably had something entirely different in mind. Or maybe he didn't.

I wish Richard James made records as interesting as this.

Strangely, this feels far closer to being the 'true' offspring of that late 70's generation of one-fingered synthesists who were parading their wares on Synth Britannica on fri night, than, uh, *gruffly mumnmnmnmbles some names unintelligibly into tea-cup of people whose music he doesn't like that much but who seem fairly popular amongst various, er, youngsters in their thirties and forties*. Mordant Music are fairly cool tho.

I think this works so well because it comes from somewhere else - not just geographically - but from a Free-Rock/Improvisational zone that has gradually, since 2005, 2006-ish, been turning into something else - something more rooted in beats, linear rhythms, etc. Some folks have been started upgrading from fucked-up junk-shop Casios to cheap, disgarded 1st-gen Grooveboxes, Electribes, etc, so that a generation that mainly/mostly bypassed the Rave epoch, due to their age - or were disinterested in it - are now (sometimes unintentionally) plundering this era and plugging certain Rave, Acid House and New Age soundshapes n ideas into an open-ended stoner/free rock/psych template/mind-set. Over the last 3, 4 years we've started glimpsing traces of this cultural migration in, errm, the Skaters' solo/side projects, the post-rave Cousteau-isms of Dolphins into the Future, etc, all sorts of unexpected nooks n crannies in the sub-underground. It's (mostly) being driven by a mixture of cheap, disgarded 90s hardware and young 'uns deliberately square-pegging/venn-diagramming/overlaying assorted 60s/early 70s sounds/tropes onto their late 70s/80s/early 90s counterparts. Or vice versa.

Anyway, it's a great EP; you should buy it. Finnish music still rules. Fiercely.

Available via Vauva.


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