Nu Scientific Approach
SCAM Parties vol. 1
Helsinki 14.3.1998

One lazy Monday morning the postman brought me a mysterious invitation: SCAM parties vol. 1 featuring Nu Science. I had dug the seven-piece debut album of the band but it never came to my mind they could perform the material live. It seemed to me too risky to play live tunes mainly based on highly unstable ancient Roland synths.

When the day came I headed to the address mentioned in the invitation - somewhere in the area of Kallio-Sörnäinen. And what did I find? A cosy Chinese restaurant with tasty fried bananas. It took me a moment to understand that I was not yet in the party house but I still had seven floors to climb. An underground party at the 7th floor! That was interesting.

A friendly voice answered to the door phone and in I went. When I got the 7th floor the hostess of the party was already waiting for me at the door. As I had supposed I was not to enter a music hall or a club but a private apartment - a home of these people. The apartment was truly beautiful and through the window you could see almost the whole centre of Helsinki. I couldn't help thinking how many people in this town were aware of the happening that was about to come true this night.

There were already some people in the place watching the soccer match played between Everton and Blackpool. As a true fan of Manchesterian football (and don't even think of United) I had no fervour into the game and I used the time talking with Mikko, the present part of Nu Science.

Soon after the game Henri - the other half of the band - arrived and little by little the people found their way to the place and the apartment started to fill up. Henri worked as a Dj. and warmed up the crowd with some groovy tunes. Mikko entertained the audience with some wonderian compositions played by authentic Hohner D6 Clavinet.

The time the real gig started there were something like 30 people at the place and the living room was fully crowded. Mikko introduced the band as "Mikki ja Hessu" (Mickey Mouse and Goofy) and made me immediately think of another later world famous duo that started their career under a pseudonym Tom and Jerry. The atmosphere was almost solemn when Henri conjured the first noises out of his Roland SH-1 synthesizer. The mood turned even more esoteric when Mikko joined the beats with didgeridoo. During "Entré" the only light on the room was a little red spot but when the first beats of "Way out" echoed in the air the disco ball awake and the room was filled with shades of blue. Only then I could really see the nice outfit of the band: Mikko dressed in black and Henri in white and both of them wearing smart ties.

From the right beginning it was clear that while Mikko took care of the background tapes and keyboard section including Hammond P-100 organ and Rhodes Fiftyfour electric piano Henri concentrated completely on getting the beats and sounds out of the Roland synth. The third piece was a new one and had some drum machine backgrounds very different from those primitive rhythms heard on the album. In "Airport", the "hit" tune of the album, Mikko created a harmonious basis with the slowly developing piano track and Henri improvised wit a ruinous impact.

During "Essence" Mikko returned to didgeridoo and made me feel the vibrations last time experienced while hoovering my closet. The last piece of the set was 100% live "Mir" that differed quite much from the original on the album. This time the tune was completely sample-free and consisted of beautiful keyboard melody played in kitschy pianobar style and almost uncontrolled synth noise. The combination was surprisingly enjoyable and from time to time quite stylish. The boys ended the gig with real style: while Henri maintained the Roland noise Mikko went to a fridge, took a bottle of beer out of it and opened it with emphasized manoeuvres. The music was over and it was time to begin serious partying.

After the gig boys told me how nervous they had been, but I think they were just gidding because while on stage they created a cosy atmosphere that covered the whole apartment. And I think even the neighbours must have been delighted. If there was some excitement in the air it was among the enthusiastic audience. The evening continued with some cool shit played by Dj. Henri. The highlights of the night were - surprisingly - the old Otis Redding tunes that tempted masses of people to the tiny dance floor. Afterwards most of the people headed to Tavastia club where nicely twisted Larry and the Lefthanded danced the common people into ecstasy. Sadly, after seeing the mad nu scientists, it must have felt like quite an ordinary pop band.

Olli Sotamaa