Carve on, my friends


The Frigid/Cyclic/Sub Bass behemoth keeps carvin its way through the darkest corners of music and the media.

I’m looking forward to a bit of a feedback loop on new explosions and overlooked but essential old folks and everything in between. But even better, contributors and readers doing a more relaxed chew the fat on killer music happening about the place.

In that light, here are some hot Finns I saw the other night in Shanghai. Listen to some songs, plus some excerpts from my review of the gig…

“Cleaning Women were first up. Three guys as angry girls, complete with Doc Marten boots, short shrill pigtails and black stockings on homemade instruments: an electrified clothes drying rack, a guitar made out of an Illy coffee tin, drums built from stainless steel colanders, pots and rubbish bins. On paper it sounds like a wasted hour, but the clattering, harsh rhythms add up to something like early “80s industrial group Einsturzende Neubauten.”

“They get an amazing sound out of the homemade guitars, and when vocals somewhere between Tim Buckley, Ian Curtis and Souxsie Souix glide over a seductive metal samba it all adds up to something newer, a fascinating punk jazz with a crazed, almost hymnal feeling.”

Cleaning Women – Phase (sample)
Cleaning Women – It’s a Classic (sample)
Cleaning Women – Hotel Jungle Fever (sample)
Cleaning Women – A Laundry Track (sample)

The Wire loved Ovali Virta live, but in Shanghai they weren’t so hot. Still, the quirky electro funk was pretty catchy.

“Ovali Virta took the stage in matching black jeans, white shirts and black cravats to the theme song from Dallas. Looking like a bunch of drunken college boys, they crowded in (and clowned) around a laptop. It’s obvious they’re not as comfortable on a stage as Cleaning Women, but their music is undeniably more accessible. Big club-friendly electro beats, heavy rock riffs and infectious vocals. Like Joy Division on electro duties, with a touch of Har Mar Superstar or Spod. It’s cool, though not particularly original. One of them does Gang of Four via Paul Smith dance steps, but it all seems like the moves of a band who’ve been told: “you can make great music, but you’ve gotta put on a good performance.’ I would prefer to see them authentically playing their laptops rather than faking it.”

Ovali Virta – Purple and Blue
Ovali Virta – Purple and Blue (Hush remix)
Ovali Virta – Jungle of Emotions


Comments are closed.