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Baker's Dozen

Pan Sonics: Mika Vainio's Favourite Albums
Albert Freeman , September 1st, 2014 07:19

Our series of articles curated by Kevin 'The Bug' Martin continues with a Baker's Dozen from Mika Vainio, solo artist and former member of Pansonic. He tells us about how the likes of Suicide, Neubauten, the Alex Harvey Band, King Crimson and more soundtracked a life of working in slaughterhouses and vegetarian restaurants

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Suicide - Suicide
It was the year 1979 when I heard this in the most odd circumstances. I was traveling to my grandmother's place on some occasion with a friend of mine, and we had to change busses in a small city. We had some time to spend there, and we saw this shop for domestic equipment, like washing machines and whatever, near the station, but they also had some records. On the rack they had Suicide, the original Red Star edition, and it's astonishing how it ended up there. I really don't know. We looked at the cover and the sleeve, and it looked quite impressive with the photograph of the guys and so on. We asked if we could listen to it because we had very little money at that time and wanted to hear it first. The shopkeeper said, 'You don't really want to hear this… It's horrible, but maybe you can play it anyway.' When 'Ghost Rider' started, it was one of those moments when you know definitely that it's something really important. We bought the album, we put our money together and bought the LP, and since then I've been a really big fan of Alan Vega and Martin Rev both. We made two albums with Alan with Pan Sonic and have supported them in live concerts many times. They have told me many stories about how they had things thrown at them constantly while onstage performing. Scotland used to be one of the most dangerous places for all of the rock bands to go play. In the 70s I believe at some point the bands got a double fee if they played in Scotland because so many bands didn't dare to go there. Suicide went to play there, and they were supporting the Clash I think. Someone threw and axe at Alan, and it passed right by his head, a big axe, amongst all of the bottles and beer cans and whatever.


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Wellwellwellington
Sep 2, 2014 8:42am

Hmm, that photo really looks effortless.

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Sep 2, 2014 12:54pm

In reply to Wellwellwellington:

...and exactly like steve pemberton

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Michael Engelbrecht
Sep 2, 2014 3:04pm

There were not many bands in that area Pan Donic have been working in that I liked, but Pan Sonic I ve loved . Still making discoveries with every listein. I never read much about Mika. So I was very curious to read his list and the stories. Put a constant smile on my face. Someone who comes along with Music for Airports and Interstellar Space knows how to open up spaces, and how to work with dynamics...

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Mark F
Sep 2, 2014 3:42pm

Not sure Test Department were inspired by Neubauten.

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Wraithlet
Sep 2, 2014 5:24pm

Gravitoni is number 6 in my top 10 favourite album of the 2010s so far.

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Michael E
Sep 2, 2014 6:20pm

Gravitoni, Kesto, Aaltopiri: my three favourites

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Sep 3, 2014 4:29am

Terrific list, no fucking Bowie, no fucking Lou Reed, no fucking Slint (hah hah)... Bravo!!!

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Sep 3, 2014 4:30am

pesto gravitoni glenn gould & coltrane-- i'll take two.

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Sam
Sep 3, 2014 11:18am

In reply to :

"Terrific list, no fucking Bowie, no fucking Lou Reed, no fucking Slint (hah hah)... Bravo!!!"

Haha my thoughts exactly. Quite a relief.

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Ron Tamra
Sep 3, 2014 2:32pm

funny... was just listening to Interstellar Space the other day and wondering why I never hear about this album! Really great stuff!

otherwise, this is a swell list. As much as I dig Lou Reed, I'm thrilled to not see him or VU on this list. Anyone liking Pan Sonic already like Lou, so no need to keep hitting on that one!

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Balphy
Sep 5, 2014 5:42pm

Does no one else get a kick out of people picking Bowie/Reed albums and putting their spin on it? If there was a rule against Bowie/Reed albums (even an unwritten one) we wouldn't have got that gem where Lydia Lunch said Lou should've killed himself.
Also Iggy Pop/Stooges turn up a fair bit too, I've also seen Beatles, Stones, Talk Talk, Kraftwerk... Marquee Moon has made a few lists and when did "On The Corner" become Miles Davis' most popular album?

If someone ever videos me sitting on a thumb tack, I become an internet sensation and The Quietus recognises my contribution to popular culture by asking me my 13 favourite albums I can't decide whether I would deliberately choose to antagonise every last one of you neckbeards by picking "Low", "The Idiot", "Spirit of Eden", "Lulu" and all those other albums I ADORE (not "Spiderland" though, ew.), or pander to the fact that I am secretly one of you and pick 13 artists ("Novalis" or "Rudimentary Peni" or "Ras Michael" or "Andy White" or something) that the average moron hasn't heard of, tip my fedora to the wind and go and have a look at some photos of naked celebrities.

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Asunderground
Sep 7, 2016 12:39pm

"Someone threw an axe at Alan, and it passed right by his head, a big axe, amongst all of the bottles and beer cans and whatever." Yeah, that story is true isn't it??? I love Vega but he had a habit of exaggeration.

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