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Author Topic: Fonal records, Ikuisuus and other "playful" experimental music  (Read 685 times)
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V.T.R
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« on: September 13, 2021, 03:07:24 PM »

There was old topic about Finnish experimental music and Fonal was mentioned, but I think that they and their likes deserve their own topic. And discussion about other bands/projects around the world in that style is welcomed here.

Fonal was formed already in 1995 and I think their highlight years was around 2003-2006(?) at least in Finland. After that it feels like nobody talks about them anymore in any particular scene around here. I am aware that their catalog has been reviewed in bigger media (Wire etc.) and big celebrities like Henry Rollins has worshipped this scene, but more is always more! And no talking about something doesn't always mean that people don't listen to it :)

I must confess that it was during this year when Kemialliset Ystävät, Es and Tomutonttu finally clicked to myself too. I needed something new to listen, something that wasn't harsh noise, ambient, too "challenging", too musical but still entertaining and interesting. I remembered Fonal and was hooked.

I think their aesthetics and overall sound can be too hippie for diehard followers of nastier side of noise and PE, but there must be even couple of fans here? Personally I enjoy Tomutonttu the most. His weird surreal sounds are always fun to listen. Naive and weird. Like somesort of childrens music played under the influence of acid hehe! Focus on detailet sounds and layers and good mixing. Kemialliset Ystävät freakfolk is also great stuff and their discography have enough variation from straight up Third Ear Band worship to their newer stuff, which is even more freaked out and psychedelic. Es is more easy listening, but still absolutely solid loop based krautrockish atmospheres. Kesämaan lapset (Summerlands children) album's name pretty much tells how it sounds; warm summer nostalgia. There are also lot of other kind of projects like Launau, Shogun Kunitoki etc, but I have mostly concentrated to the more experimental bands like three above mentioned.

Two other recommended labels in the same vein from Finland are Ikuisuus and Magma Tones, but I'll get back to those later.

I know that there are TONS of this kind of stuff around the world, but it's easier to get known by recommendations so keep em coming. "Homemade" feel and aesthetics with GOOD SOUND like Tomutonttu and Kemialliset Ystävät have. All kinds of playful and fun "outsider noise" can also be discussed here.
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post-morten
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2021, 07:10:28 PM »

I’ve tried to get into this group of bands for a long time, and gave them all fair amounts of listening time. This goes especially for K.Y., Avarus, and Kiila. And while I don’t deny they all have their moments, there’s a limit as to how much toy pianos, pots & pans clanking, squeaky violins, and wobbly underwater effects I can take. Having said this I absolutely adore Lau Nau’s solo work and have a soft spot for Islaja too. Shogun Kunitoki are cool as well, but I don’t see them as aligned with this freak folk scene; from what I recall they got their own unique thing going, unless they changed direction since I last looked their way.
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APPLE
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2021, 08:20:05 PM »

I know that there are TONS of this kind of stuff around the world, but it's easier to get known by recommendations so keep em coming. "Homemade" feel and aesthetics with GOOD SOUND like Tomutonttu and Kemialliset Ystävät have. All kinds of playful and fun "outsider noise" can also be discussed here.

Kuupuu- yokehra is a good LP from the mid-2000s Finnish scene. Handmade, intimate and slightly spooky mix of whispered vocals, lo-fi loops, strange instruments and domestic psychedlia.

On a different note, I really like the new LP from Aaron Dilloway & Lucretia Dalt. Playful is good word to describe it. Short tracks of bubbling electronics, grinding loops and squelching sci-fi sounds.
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impulse manslaughter
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« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2021, 08:35:49 PM »

Gothenborg projects like Blod or Enhet För Fri Musik are worth checking out. Last albums of both are highly recommended if you're into lo-fi folk & home electronics. You've got to be fast though because their releases seem to sell out fast. Years ago I listened a lot to lo-fi weirdness like Caroliner, Kingdom Scum, Melted Men, etc.
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Lysergikon137
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2021, 03:52:41 AM »

I’ve tried to get into this group of bands for a long time, and gave them all fair amounts of listening time. This goes especially for K.Y., Avarus, and Kiila. And while I don’t deny they all have their moments, there’s a limit as to how much toy pianos, pots & pans clanking, squeaky violins, and wobbly underwater effects I can take.

This is my feeling on this realm of music. Was feeling it early in the year with a lot of Kemialliset, tomutonttu, and Uton (of Magma Tapes) but ultimately none of it really stuck besides one Kemialliset album of b-side collections and the YKSI material on Magma Tapes (which is kinda more harsh noise, the second tape reminds me of Haare).
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2021, 01:46:54 PM »

the other day I was listening to Current 93 and some Fonal shit and then I realized that this so called forest-folk scene is basically a playful and sometimes major-chord version of neo folk :D
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2021, 09:30:04 AM »

Those who read finnish (or want to use translator) can check this article about Finnish experimental music:
https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2021/06/18/omaehtoisesti-yhdessa-kotimainen-kokeellinen-musiikki-versoo-monissa-eri

Published by national radio this summer. Featured in article are Arttu Partinen of Avarus, Laura Naukkarinen of Lau Nau, Marja Ahti who has some great experimental albums out and I recall being talked on this forum too? If not, that mistake should be corrected. Also bunch of other people. Finnish NOISE is not part of this article. I got couple guys contacting me saying it was odd that among 20+ Finnish labels, FA was not mentioned among active ones in the scene. Well...  I am not really part of experimental music scene, but industrial-noise. There is cross-over, but they are quite different types of sound and culture and I am sure too obvious cross-over would change the tone of article to something else, hah..

I got bunch of UTON stuff and seen him live. Same for Tomutonttu. Some of the Kuupuu stuff I like a lot, others are not my taste at all.  It would be good to see more recommendations of this type of stuff. In Finland, as the article describes, YLE radio actually has even two experimental music radio programs. Frekvenssi has played things like Temple Of Tiermes, along this more warm hearted experimental scene. I think they are not playable outside Finland for copyright reasons?

If you happen to live in Finland, you can accees the programs: https://areena.yle.fi/audio/1-50748123
Two episodes are focused on new finnish sound art.
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