Ektroverde vs. Big Band Brútal

"Live report" or something.

Thursday 27 July 2000 @ Yo-talo, Tampere.

Summertime can get pretty dreary. As the Southern Europe and Balkans suffer from the burning heat, the low pressure packs over the northern parts, namely Fennoscandinavia, causing an insistent grey mass of clouds linger above this desolate country for weeks in row, and afflicting sorely the moods of people who are supposed to enjoy their summer holidays. There are some occasional glimpses of sunlight, though, amid the otherwise overpowering greyness and the seemingly endless rain. The excellent gigs from Op:l Bastards and Finland's best kept pop secret, Kukka, and now the joint venture of Finnish Ektroverde and Icelandic Big Band Brútal have been the sole shimmering rays of light above the sinister skies of summer Tampere.

Ektroverde's - which has descended from the legendary Circle - live sets consist of long, hypnotic, suggestive jams, combining home-made analogue electronics with live drums & geetars, related to Krautrock/postrock, subtle but still strangely energetic and even funky compared to some of their more bloodless peers. A bunch of quiet guys pack together on stage and mystically merge to one seamless, insistently mind-altering groove machine from some other dimension. And yes, the Ufox device is there again.

Art school types Big Band Brútal are two guys and two girls, one of them playing drums, the rest twiddling with analogue keyboards and modulators, on a 'Sister Ray'-VU/Stereolab tip, but definitely more aggressive; think of a heavily distorted and tripped-out version of GusGus' 'Ladyshave' and you might be there, barely. A dark guy in the background takes his shirt off and bangs the drums manically, the tall skinny guy hangs over his keyboard like some Quasimodo; one of the girls behind the electronics wears a big afro, and the other girl, the blond one in a neat skirt, shouts occasionally something to her mic that is connected to some monstrous effect machine, garbling the vocals, and pogoes behind her keyboard. Quite astonishing.

Finally, the two bands join together for a heavy brain-melting jam session, and sound like they've been playing as one band for all their lives. Maybe only harsh conditions, light deprivation and isolation shared by both countries can create pure, intense madness like this.

After the gig I hang a bit with Mr. Lehtisalo of Ektroverde, always so jovial, who introduces me to Kristin, the blonde girl [or the not exactly blonde one, as I now stand corrected by the person in question... oops, sorry] of Big Band Brútal, and as we change email addresses, I'm a bit amazed and even little embarrassed when she instantly recognises pHinnWeb, complaining there's nothing like that in Iceland yet. After being duly bribed with promo CDs, we say fast byes, maybe hoping to do a Net interview later on. Brútally yours.

27 July 2000 gig at SoundCloud


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