Wednesday, 14 December 2016

World Tour

l-r: Sofi Lofi; Teksti-TV 666; Mirel Wagner
Week 15: The Nordic Countries (part two)

It takes about 3½ hours by bus to travel north out of Gothenburg to the capital of Norway - Oslo. Oslo is currently the fastest-growing city in Europe in terms of population. It is also regarded as one of the best cities in the world to live in, in terms of quality of life. It is, however, one of the world's most expensive cities to live in.

We're only visiting briefly as we've come to see a band who make a glorious racket. Sofi Lofi were conceived by Mette Sofie Breddam of indienoir-rockers Le Corbeau. Initially a solo-side-project emitting occasional releases, they are now a fully-fledged four-piece who released their debut album earlier this year. Bloody excellent it is too - you should grab it from their Bandcamp page. Kind of 60s rock 'n' roll psych glam sort of stuff. Killer On The Loose starts off sounding like a ballsy 20th Century Boy but becomes something even more wonderful.

From Norway, we fly east over Sweden and across the Gulf of Bothnia to Finland. While sometimes thought of as part of Scandinavia, Finland actually has closer ties to Russia and Estonia. We're landing in the capital Helsinki, the home of the bloke who invented Linux, the computer system we once thought would kill off Windows for good. Unfortunately that didn't quite happen, but it was a stroke of genius nonetheless. Also from Helsinki are Teksti-TV 666, a mysterious lot who make a great noise. Lots of soaring, swooping psychedelic guitars (they often play with five guitarists), but don't just think they're another shoegaze band. There's a lot more to this lot than that, with garage punk, indie rock and Krautrock all evident in the sound.

Their three EPs to date, entitled '1', '2' and this year's imaginatively-titled '3' have just been compiled on the album '1, 2, 3' (how's that for originality). It's been getting rave reviews beyond their home nation, including a 9/10 in Louder Than War magazine in which the reviewer states it is "easily one of the best things I've heard this year... To be honest, it defies categorization to a certain extent. Let's just call it brilliant." And that sort of sums it up.

Just a 20 minute drive away is the neighbouring city of Espoo. Formula One driver Kimi Räikkönen is from here, as is Mirel Wagner. I actually posted a piece about Mirel last year, but couldn't resist featuring her again as she is just magnificent. Read what I wrote last year to get a sense of what she's about (if you're not already familiar with her). I strongly urge you to buy her two albums. Here's a track from each.

And next week - the concluding leg of our journey. Baby, I'm coming home...!


  1. Listening to a lot of Scandinavian bands at the moment! Here is but a few
    he janitors
    Electric eye
    Les big B

  2. Every musical stop a pleasure. Well done.