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Electric Independence

My parents have always taught me that honesty is the best policy and as far as I know they’ve never lied to me.


Team Young Finland In Spain


My parents have always taught me that honesty is the best policy and as far as I know they’ve never lied to me. I certainly never lie. My father can sometimes come across as pessimistic but he’ll always maintain that he’s a realist. If he’s betting on this Ashes series, for example, he’d put money on Australia winning, even if the odds at the start weren’t too hot. And so if the Aussies win he’s made some money but if England triumph (fingers-crossed) then he’s happy, so either way he comes out on top. Same with Plymouth Argyle, our local team: you just assume they’ll lose and when they win you’re over the moon and everything’s dandy. This doesn’t happen too often now they’re in the Championship. I blame the manager. How can a blob of lard run a professional football team? Back to the honesty thing. The other week I was invited by the Finnish Ministry of Culture to a cool little two-day festival in Helsinki called Koneisto, which I’ve attended twice before. They paid for flights and a hotel for four days and I had a blast meeting old friends, drinking pear cider, and enjoying Helsinki and its archipelago, especially the island Soumenlinna. One night we played “night ping-pong” in this bar called Rose Garden, where the ball, net and table markings are painted luminous and the DJ spins Italo-disco. So I was in heaven. But the festival itself was odd, a bit of a shambles. As there’d been storms they couldn’t erect a stage on the platform by the sea, like normal, a shame. On the first night, the main attraction was Inspectah Deck, the c-list Wu-Tang rapper (the Finns love their hip hop), followed by UK breaks DJ Adam Freeland, while in other rooms you had local dudes spinning breakcore and trance. The next evening featured live sets by Annie, Mouse On Mars and Roisin Murphy and record-playing from Michael Mayer and techno old-timer Kevin Saunderson. On the plus side, the best DJ in the world, I-F, played for two magical hours, and this young trio called Motiivi:Tuntematon belched out miminal brain-floss bleeps, clearing the room. As I worry too much about most things, I kept thinking about how they’d forked out for me to check out this festival that on the whole didn’t blow me away, and that if I reported what I really thought then they’d be pissed off. In the end I don’t think it matters. If it’s promotion of new Finnish electronic music they’re after, that’s fine. I bought some excellent records in this great shop, Lifesaver, such as this strange disco EP by Rättö Ja Lehtisalo titled “Valonnopeus” on Sahko, as well as the limited double-vinyl reissue of Ø’s 1993 minimal techno masterpiece Metri, also on Sahko. Ø is Mika Vainio of Pan Sonic, when he was forcing the remaining melodies out of his system and is an abstract techno classic according to places like Boomkat. Plus a 12-inch by a group of drunken Finns calling themselves Team Young Finland In Spain that’s packed with stupid acid and smoochy disco, it’s adorable and vulgar. Talking of vulgar, Russell Haswell & Hecker just released a one-sided 12-inch on Mego, “Revision”, a remix for the band Voice Crack. A version originally came out in 2002 but H&H were unhappy about the sound level (too quiet) so got it remastered. Play it at any speed and it’s a cacophony. Haswell, who’s looking dashing these days with long hair, has also announced details of his second Easy To Swallow mini-ATP rave. This happens on Saturday, September 17 at Koko on Camden High Street in London, 11PM-5AM, and stars Autechre, Earth, Pita and Robert Hood, the Underground Resistance legend who produced classix with Mad Mike and Jeff Mills back in’t day. It’s another strong line-up with a late licence and tickets cost £15 from,, and Rough Trade in Covent Garden. The first Easy To Swallow in June attracted a wild crowd and was a blast, except Mark Stewart went on a bit and then Whitehouse were bottled off after 12 minutes by morons. After their brilliant Minimize To Maximize compilation earlier this year, Minus Records’ exquisite form continues with three must-have releases, new EPs by Troy Pierce, False and Heartthrob. I love Pierce’s “Run” and Heartthrob’s “Time For Ensor” because their music is basically pop stripped back, boiled down, reduced to its bare bones—funky, strange and strict. False’s “River Camping” hits the spot, too, though Matthew Dear (who’s False) has really excelled himself with his debut album as Audion, Suckfish, out on Spectral. If you’re after 70 minutes of jacking, jagged, smacky electronic interference then Dear’s generally your best bet, yet Suckfish fizzes and flanges with such feral glee that you’d be really foolish to sleep on this. Also worth £6.99 is the 12-inch of Audion’s “Just Fucking”, backed as it is by the sprightly “23 Positions In A One Night Stand” acid-disco remix by Alter Ego’s Roman Flugel. And Lusine’s killer “Inside Out EP” on Ghostly is definitely his best yet. Honestly, it’s true. PIERS MARTIN