[Playlist] Jori Hulkkonen’s Musical Autobiography
Finland’s Jori Hulkkonen has never been the one to paint himself in the corner.
With releases in the last two decades exploring 360 degrees on the musical radar since his debut 12″ in 1993, Jori has released ten artist albums for F communications and Turbo Recordings, collaborated with people like John Foxx, Jose Gonzales, Jesper Dahlbäck (as Kebacid) and Phonogenic (as Discemi), has had dozens of 12″ singles, and has remixed artists as diverse as Chromeo, Kid Cudi, Robyn, and Lydia Lunch.
With his new release OUT NOW on My Favorite Robot Records, Jori has put together playlist that makes up his most seminal musical influences over the years. In his own words:
This playlist features 10 tracks that in one way or another influenced my new album, Don’t Believe In Happiness, either in terms of being something I was listening to at the time, or something that was a direct inspiration.
Iasos – Formentera Sunset Clouds (1975)
I’ve been listening to loads of new age and ambient in the last few years. This one is taken from one of the best compilations around; I Am The Center (Private Issue New Age Music In America, 1950-1990) on the ever amazing Light In The Attic -label. Featuring a wide range of styles from experimental electronics to piano pieces, it offers a great introduction to the genre for newcomers, but has a lot of depth also for the connoisseurs. If only all compilations were made with such passion and attention to detail.
Magnetic Fields – ’83 Foxx and I (2017)
Magnetic Field’s latest album “50 song Memoir” actually consists of 50 songs, a musical autobiography of sorts, where we are going thru songwriter/vocalist Stephen Merrit’s life. The year 1983 is dedicated to one of my heroes -and a frequent collaborator -John Foxx. Luckily the song is pretty amazing too.
New Musik – The Planet Doesn’t Mind (1981)
One of the true mysteries for me has always been the fact that New Musik weren’t one of the biggest bands of the 80’s. Innovative production, catchy songs and thought provoking lyrics. The only thing I can think it was too ahead of its time.
Buggles – I am a Camera (1981)
There really are no words for how much I love Trevor Horn, the man who “invented the 80’s”.
“Video Killed The Radiostar” will always shadow everything else his band the Buggles did, but this track for me is far superior as a song -as are a many other tracks found on their second album “Adventures in Modern Recording”. Quite like New Musik’s Tony Mansfield, Horn then moved on to producing other artists.
The outro of this track is one of my alltime favourite musical moments.
Rupert Hine – The Set Up (1982)
Another criminally underrated artist from the early 80’s who eventually found success as a producer. I somehow feel there was this period where the new technology opened up new options for traditionally trained musicians with a more rock oriented backround. People like Mansfield, Horn, Hine, and John Foxx all had a traditional “band” history before they, for the first time, took drummachines, synths and eventually samplers as their tools, and pretty much created the musical vocabulary we have now. You could say it’s all a bit of nostalgia, but I would claim it really was a unique period, and its cultural climate can never to be repeated or duplicated. And the proof is this music.
Space – Space (1990)
Jimmy Cauty of the KLF/JAMS made this, and originally it was supposed to be The Orb’s debut album, before turning into Cauty’s solo project. The album is basically a voyage through the solar system from Mercury outwards, with vast distances of empty space between worlds represented by periods of minimalist ambience and near-silence. Possibly my favourite ambient house record of the 90’s.
Metronomy – Monstrous (2014)
For me Metronomy peaked creatively with 2014’s Love Letters -album. The album’s production leaning towards lo-fi aesthetics, old school rhythm machines and organsynths combined with clever song writing struck a real chord with me. Since then they’ve returned to a more traditional band-based approach. Which is fine, but I like the level of risk taking they did with this particular album.
John Maus – Heaven Is Real (2007)
While on the subject of lo-fi aesthetics… For me John Maus has been one the most important new artists of this new millennium alongside Ariel Pink. 808 beats mixed with live bass, and polysynths with reverb, can’t beat that. Also I blame/give credit to John Maus for giving me personally the courage to do my own vocals rather than having always guest vocalists. At some point I realized it’s not the technical skill or an accurate performance that gives me the kicks, it’s something that’s buried a lot deeper. For better or for worse, I find this approach more meaningful and rewarding.
Another dope compilation I’ve been listening to a lot is “Outro Tempo”, Electronic and Contemporary Music from Brazil, 1978 – 1992. Featuring an incredible selection of new wave influenced tracks I’m pretty sure I’d never come across otherwise. This was the soundtrack of my summer 2017.
Kaukolampi – Epiphyte (Requiem For Mika) (2017)
I’ve seen Timo Kaukolampi of Op:l Bastard and K-X-P fame playing his live shows for a while and I’ve been inreasingly impressed everytime. So it’s fitting that his debut solo album is finally out and this tribute to the late Mika Vainio is one th best pieces of music in 2017. The video is very impressive, too.