Skip to main content

machineries of joy


music review:: aavikko:: derek

somewhere far away in the universe, there is a magical world that is ruled by the machines. the machines go to work, they have perfectly efficiently functioning little cubicles that they enjoy and perfectly efficiently organised little homes. they have mild-mannered parties where they chatter, mingle and, occasionally, dance. and at these post-modern tiki parties, aavikko’s derek is the soundtrack.

it is one of the great paradoxes of modern music that popular rock, with its origins in the gritty world of delta blues, more often than not sounds like it was churned out from a pattern on a military computer, whereas music made to sound as far removed from anything remotely human as possible should have such feeling. derek is not emotional in the sense that current 93 records are emotional, but it’s carnival-like organs and hip syncopation is so genuinely joyful that i would venture that it is impossible to listen to this album without cracking a silly grin.

what’s doubly strange about this band is that they hail from finland, not exactly a country one would associate with all-around fun and grooviness. listening to this, one can’t picture the frozen tundra, the way one could on releases from, say, aural hypnox. nor can one picture the individuals who actually worked to hammer this stuff out. despite its deceptively human name, derek belongs to the machines and they are apparently immune to the frozen bite of finland’s winter.

it’s always tempting to dismiss music like this as the stuff of novelty, but experience has taught me to be a little more patient. the fact is, much like there is nothing inartistic about comic writing (see earlier post), there is nothing that stops happy music from being good music. the melodies here are catchy as hell and the combination of kraftwerk and cocktail party elements with an edge of noise makes it strikingly original. what could there possibly be to dislike.

the record is almost frustratingly short- pretty much a given when your longest track is 2:54, but, as any great performer knows, it’s always best to leave your audience wanting more. apparently, in their far-away mechanised paradise, the machines have learned this as well.

available from solnze records.

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: hot stuff, comin' through

i don't even know what to say about the weather. the end of september saw temperatures at a scalding 36c/ 97f outside. this is especially annoying because we've had a moderate summer. most days it rained a little in the morning, the temperatures didn't creep into the 30s too often and there wasn't the normal stretch of a few weeks when it felt like we were living on the sun. now, we've receded into more normal fall weather, although it's still on the warm side for mid-october. that climate change thing is a bitch.

trying to think of something positive in the situation, it does put me in a perfect frame of mind to write about urban decay's naked heat palette. it's the latest in what appears to be an endless series of warm neutral and red eyeshadow palettes that have followed in the footsteps of anastasia's modern renaissance. [which i ultimately decided i didn't need after doing a thorough search of my considerable stash.] i do think that it'…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…