Avanto Festival 16.-18.11.2007

Back to the Futu

Organ was born when Pekka Tolonen and Seppo Parkkinen’s electronic duo Argon — which had already released one of the milestones of Finnish electronic music, Kone kertoo (1981) — was joined by prog-rock bass player Tapani Lahtinen, and Mikko Saarela, previously known as the witty lyricist of popular punk/new wave band Eppu Normaali. In addition to off-the-shelf synthesizers, an important part of their instrumentation was an analogue drum machine called “Zyrgo”, built by Tolonen. The year 1982 saw the release of their only album Nekrofiilis (Poko), which is, in retrospect, perhaps the best representative of the short-lived “Futu” (as synthesizer pop was called in Finland at the time) craze. The songs heard on the album were rehearsed in the electronic music studio at the University of Helsinki. The album contains a paean to Regina Linnanheimo, one the most glamorous Finnish film stars from the 1940s; in other songs, Saarela’s socially committed lyrics examine topics such as vivisection and aid to developing countries as well as anti-war themes. Parkkinen was also one of the lyricists of their album. Unfortunately, the career of Organ was cut short by the waning of the Futu boom. Representatives of later generations of electronic music have, however, found Organ’s music again, and their comeback performance is likely to receive the attention it deserves.

Erkki Rautio

Avanto/Äänen Lumo Club in Kuudes linja on Friday, 16 November from 9 pm to 4 am