The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Quietus Mix 71: Hexvessel's Guide To Finnish Psychedelia
The Quietus , October 11th, 2012 08:41

Mat Kvohst McNerney of the mighty Hexvessel presents an awesome mix of far-out Finnish sounds

The artists on this mix aren't all necessarily psychedelic or underground for that matter, but I think they're all transcendent in nature and underrated outside of their mother land. I hope that you enjoy the journey and like what you experience. My apologies if I have gotten anything wrong in the details or tracklisting, but I am still exploring the Finnish music scene and am in no way an expert yet! This is my mix of some of the goodness in the Finnish underground right now, where I think currently the most exciting music is being made. Peace and Love!

1) I love Pharaoh Overlord, maybe even more than Circle, their sister group, of which three of these guys are part of. I'm really in awe of their massive output, and I think if you're to name two bands who are right up there as THE most important bands in Finland today, then it would be Circle and Pharaoh Overlord.

2) Jarse is the work of Jari Suominen, known for his work in the analog instrumental quartet Shogun Kunitoki, and psychedelic folk group Kiila. It's really great minimal hypnotic electronics released on the amazing Fonal Records who are well known for releasing tons of excellent Finnish electronic acts. If you ask me what label has been the most consistently influential in Finnish music in the recent decade, then it has to be Fonal. They've done a great job of making sure Finland is known for more than HIM and love metal!

3) This is an unreleased track from their new album. Sammal are an awesome prog band who are going to put our their release on our label Svart Records. I was floored when I heard the new record and the sound of the vocalists voice just gave me instant shivers. I predict that this band are going to be massive. They sound totally timeless. A genius band.

4) We wanted to get Death Hawks to play with us on our latest Finnish tour, but I guess they're getting a bit too big to join us now! That's great though because I have been wondering why they're not massive. They look the part, they have supercool music and they're trippy as hell! Everything is in the right place. I'd recommend Death Hawks to anyone who is looking for good retro Finnish psych-rock.

5) Opium Warlords is another moniker for Albert Witchfinder of Reverend Bizarre fame. He's the godfather of Finnish doom and a real living legend. I love this band of his because the pace, subtlety and the build-ups are really great. It also gives so much room to his mighty voice and lets all the nuances shine. I love this particular track because it reminds me of Rocka Rolla, the best album ever made by Judas Priest. Or "Yudas Priced" as Finns say! Ha ha ha

6) Islaja did an electrifying show with us in Helsinki last year. I'm still reeling from the memory of that. I really adore her off-key style. She's also one of the Fonal cats and a kooky woman. She's promised to collab with us one day. We're still waiting for her to turn up to jam with us in Tampere! Her voice and creepy tunes really make my hair stand on end.

7) Jääportit are a real space ticket. Our keyboard player Jussi is rarely seen without his Jääportit shirt, which he proudly sports at our shows. They manage to mix a lot of styles quite naturally while making it their own sound. I like how they could exist in a vacuum, they're not tied to any trend or referencing any particular scene. It's just good old trippy stuff!

8) Sami Kukka is like the Finnish Nick Drake, for rainy days out at the summer house or camping out by the lake. It's melancholic and up there with guys like Alexander Tucker, James Blackshaw and Sir Richard Bishop. Sumptuous psych-folk.

9) Swallowed are a young bunch of doom and death savants from Helsinki who are going to totally own the psychedelic doom genre in years to come. They're way ahead of their time. This track is from the demo and really displays how powerfully dark psychedelic music can be and especially when played with such conviction. I really like the way this track follows on from Sami Kukka's intro of acoustic folk.

10) Dark Buddha had all the black clad cultists hoarding around their merch table at Roadburn festival. They're like a rare 1st edition magic book that you have to drive out to an old estate in the country to view. They keep their precious secrets well protected and hidden, waiting for discovery for those in the know and who are worthy enough.

11) Mirel Wagner has a voice that moves you to tears. Her simple but touching, master-crafted tracks made her last release a total overnight classic. I can't think of a better young female singer-songwriter in Finland today and I recommended her music to anyone who would listen. She's a real gem.

12) Kemialliset Ystävät is Jan Anderzén and he's also from Tampere, where most of Hexvessel live. There's a special vibe in that city and Jan is obviously surfing the same vibes as us. It's eclectic, weird psych-folk and this particular track is from the album titled Kellari juniversumi which is my favorite. Knowledge of this band is kind of compulsory if you're taking a Finnish psychedelic mind excursion and need a soundtrack.

13) Kuupuu is another of the Fonal acolytes and has been jamming with Islaja Hertta Lussu Ässä. This track is the dreamiest and most soothing music I have heard in eons. I always drift off to this. It's very fitting end to a tribute mix to the most relaxing and dreamy place on earth.