Blog Archives

Jori Hulkkonen – Oh But I Am (sampler)

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Finland’s one and only Jori Hulkkonen returns with a brand new solo artist album this summer on My Favorite Robot Records, here the label offers up a taste of what to expect with this superb 4 track vinyl sampler…

The multi talented Jori Hulkkonen has been helping shape the landscape of electronic music for 20 years nows, releasing a series of critically acclaimed albums and singles on definitive labels such as Laurent Garnier’s F Communications, Tiga’s Turbo and the ever excellent My Favorite Robot Records.

In recent years Hulkkonen has explored alternative sides to his musical canon, namely through his recordings as Sin Cos Tan, Third Culture and most recently with his avant garde work as Nuclear Winter Garden. Now he returns with his first solo LP under his own name in almost 6 years. ‘Oh But I Am’ is set to explore the more melodic and charged side of Jori’s sound with a direction that straddles home listening and club influences in perfect harmony. This four track sampler gives a clear view of the LP’s feel, opening with the wonderful slo-mo workout of ‘Black Books’ a track that marries balaeric beats, live trumpets, warm immersive synths and Jori’s ethereal vocals.

Next up we have the beautifully contructed ‘Ready Player One’ which sees Hulkkonen steer deep into 80’s soundtrack influenced territory with a recording that brings together emotive piano chords, heavily effected vocals and soaring guitars over a rolling rhythm section that could have come straight from the production hands of Trevor Horn or Martin Rushent.

Penultimate cut ‘Songs of the Eastern World’ sees the Finnish producer take things into more club orientated terrain with a synth driven 4/4 instrumental track that delivers perfectly. The sampler closes with the truly uplifting and emotional ‘Italian Love Affair’ which sees Hulkkonen’s production coloured by the 80s once again as the artists vocals weave their way through arpegiated bass, staccato drums and soaring synth lines, sterling stuff!

This is a superb selection of songs from what will surely be a highly anticipated album from Finland’s finest.

Tracklist
1. Black Books
2. Ready Player One
3. Songs of the Eastern World
4. Italian Love Affair

Nuclear Winter Garden (Jori Hulkkonen) – Nuclear Winter Garden LP

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Next up on My Favorite Robot Records is another fantastic full length project, this time from someone who has done 20 of them in 20 years, namely Jori Hulkkonen in his Nuclear Winter Garden guise.

Over the years, Finnish DJ and producer Jori, also a member of the Sin Cos Tan band, has released on F Communications, Turbo and of course My Favorite Robot Records and, since 2004, has run an outdoor, intimate party at a 14th Century museum in his hometown. Called Nuclear Winter Garden, the night finds him playing extended sets of jazz, folk, classical, avant-garde and indie sounds a world away from his usual DJ duties. It is those sets that have inspired this new album.

Says the man himself: “The idea is to find a personal edge for the output, rather than paving the way for accessibility. What’s missing from a lot of people’s music these days is the risk taking. And I like taking risks.”

The album opens with sparse atmospherics and a mix of subtle synthesised hooks and organic piano chords. A drifting voice floats in amongst it all and a contemplative mood is set from the off. ‘Some of You Might Survive’ is then a chilly ambient brew of frazzled sines that suddenly flips midway through when emotive chords and one finger synth notes arrive to lighten the mood.

‘A New Cold War’ keeps up the frosty and autumnal vibes with twinkling keys offset by rasping synths and gentle tumbling percussion. Remaining resolutely horizontal and sparse, ‘Strangest Positions’ features what sound like de-tuned synths and twanging guitars, ‘Baryonic Truth’ marries distant, sketchy drums with swirling pads and ‘Red Magic’, with its lo-fi electronics and obscured, gauzy vocals, references Jori’s pop-act inspirations Connan Mockasin and John Maus.

The last two tracks complete this evocative, enthralling and experimental journey though sound in blissfully soothing style. The influence of Jori’s outdoor party looms large throughout this album, and on it he does a fine job of painting a picture of just what one might sound like.

Watch the official video for “Strangest Positions” below. Nuclear Winter Garden LP is out on March 2nd 2015.

Tracklist
1. Quitting The Game
2. Some Of You Might Survive
3. A New Cold War
4. Strangest Positions
5. Baryonic Truth
6. Red Magic
7. If I Was Your Doctor
8. Infinite Man

NAOME – Belly Of The Beast EP

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NAOME is the new LP project from CircoLoco veteran Andrew Grant and the first fruits of it is the single, ‘Belly of the Beast’, released on My Favorite Robot Records with remixes from Villanova and Jori Hulkkonen in tow.

Debuting in September with an LP slated for late 2014, NAOME (Not Andrew Only Me) sees Grant move away from the techno and house into more esoteric sounds, exploring musical themes outside of a club environment.

The NAOME project has been cultivated to co-exist alongside his Andrew Grant name with the sole purpose of exploring new sounds and ideas for enjoyment at home or day to day but in his own words – “this is a chance for me to break away from the club sound and explore the other side of the pillow”.

Title track ‘Belly of the Beast’ shimmers into life through dusty percussion and an oscillating hook, the dry-pulsating beats and the subdued vox from Sutja Gutierrez sublimely meander alongside shimmering tones to whisk the listener off on an ambient journey laced in cinematic atmospherics.

For the second offering Turbo affiliate and Acid Symphony Orchestra head honcho Jori Hulkkonen steps up for remix duty. Jori’s polished production ability crafted over a career that spans more than two decades really shines through in this deep and melodic re-imagining. Sutja’s almost demonic vocal purrs along throughout proceedings while warm pulsating bass washes over shifting percussive patterns and a dancing 303 line to dish up a dynamic and emotive cut.

The Parisian pair known as Villanova deliver two transcendent remixes to close the EP off in style, their dreamlike Fretless version incorporates a beautifully basic bass arrangement alongside sooty percussion and extended tones to offer up a ethereal third track while their Sigma remix employs industrial grindings, craggy booms and relentless drums to deliver the most kinetic offering on the substantial four-track release.

NAOM’s Belly Of The Beast EP is out on September 22nd 2014 on My Favorite Robot. Preview it below. Order here.

Video: Sin Cos Tan – Love Sees No Colour

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The Finnish collaborative project of Juho Paalosmaa and Jori Hulkkonen aka Sin Cos Tan, have just shared the video for their synth-pop new single “Love Sees No Colour”. The ’80s-inspired video is made by Sakke Soini, and is the part one of the Sakke Soini/Sin Cos Tan video trilogy. “Love Sees No Colour” is taken from the duo’s forthcoming third album “Blown Away” which is due on August 1st 2014 on Solina Records. The single, which is out today, is backed with “Never Worked”, a non-album track.

Sin Cos Tan – Destroyer EP [2014]

My Favorite Robot turn once again to Sin Cos Tan for the next single and deliver a remix of their own, as well as one from Aiden Lavelle, to complete the package.

Last summer My Favorite Robot Records further cemented their relationship with Jori Hulkkonen (and Sin Cos Tan partner Juho Paalosmaa) with the release of an exclusive remix package of tracks from the debut Sin Cos Tan album. Now they strengthen the bonds once again with a single based around one of the cuts from the duo’s latest album ‘Afterlife’.

‘Destroyer’ is a doleful slice of emotive house come pop with taut, sinewy chords and insular and introspective vocals delivered in a breathy tone. It’s the sort of nagging tune that never leaves your brain with clean, crisp synth work that makes for a truly absorbing track.

The label bosses themselves turn in the first remix and layer it up with plenty more rubbery kick drums so it drives on the dancefloor that bit more purposefully. The synths are less smooth and more ragged around the edges making for a darker, more dystopian vibe, but the original lyrics remain intact.

Aidan Lavelle, a producer of increasing repute on labels like Crosstown Rebels, then reimagines the track as a kinetic bit of tech funk that is run through with plenty of synthy turbulence.

Yet another seriously synth driven package from My Favorite Robot Records that confirms them as one of the artiest electronic labels out there. Out on February 10. Stream the original version on spotify below.

Tracklist
1. Destroyer (Original Mix)
2. Destroyer (My Favorite Robot remix)
3. Destroyer (Aidan Lavelle remix)

Video: John Foxx & Jori Hulkonnen – Strictly

New wave legend John Foxx (of Ultravox fame) and techno grandmaster Jori Hulkkonen released their collaborative "European Splendour" EP a few months ago.Now, "Strictly", one of the most stunning tracks of the EP gets an appropriately moody video treatment… watch it here.

John Foxx & Jori Hulkkonen – European Splendour EP [2013]

UK synth pop pioneer John Foxx (the former frontman of the British synth-pop band Ultravox) and his current collaborator Jori Hulkkonen (who also records with Sin Cos Tan) have a new EP, “European Splendour“, out August 19 via Sugarcane Recordings. They’ve just shared the video for “Evangeline”, directed by Gabriel Pulecio and Lorena Kraus, below. The “European Splendour” EP arrives with a remix from film icon David Lynch. Watch the videos for both tracks, below and and listen to the entire European Splendor EP here.