Kemialliset Ystävät from Finland share some of Goodiepal’s fresh surrealism in their take on folk music. The band started in 1995, which make them the earliest proponents of the new Finnish psych-folk of which The Wire magazine wrote in September 2004: “alongside Tokyo, Leeds and Brattleboro, Finland now reigns supreme as a centre of unparalleled psychedelic activity... Led by Jan Anderzén, Kemialliset Ystävät are the most visible of Finland’s suboperatives and the most consistently rewarding. They work in short, spooling instrumentals, building layers of simple repetitive riffs into laminal mudcakes and weaving ghosts of folk song into huge tunnels of drone. The latest [Kemialliset ystävät label] Fonal release Alkuhärkä sees their sound slightly rewired in a bid to further bolster the electronic element, with several tracks evoking the cracked neon skies of David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy as well as the early synth experiments of Asmus Tietchens.” Other comparisons evoked by their Alkuhärkä cd include Harry Partch, Sun Ra and the theater music of 1950s Japanese outsider composer Teiji Ito. In Avanto 2002 Kemialliset ystävät performed in Avanto as a trio of Anderzén, Sami Sänpäkkilä (aka Es) and Markus Mäki accompanying Bruce Baillie’s film Holy Scrolls. This year Sänpäkkilä will be replaced by Niko-Matti Ahti, his bandmate from Kiila.
Kemialliset Ystävät at the Avanto Nightclub in UMO Jazz House on Friday, November 19th.