Spin-doctors claim that four Finnish groups touring China will perform for a “potential audience in each city from 4 to 17 million.” It may seem a little ambitious to expect the entire population of each city to turn out for the wacky electro performers, but despite the hype it’s worth checking out, especially since entry is free.
The tour features Jori Hulkkonen, Cleaning Women, Huoratron and Ovali Virta and stops in Shanghai on Thursday. Hulkkonen is the biggest drawcard. Finland’s best known musical export, his version of Corey Hart’s ‘80s hit “Sunglasses At Night” kick-started the electroclash sound. Besides that, he is responsible for five albums of beautiful deep house and shuffly rhythms for iconic French record label F-Comm, as well as prolific remix and collaborative work.
Hulkonnen is joined by Cleaning Women, three men in drag who plonk their home-made instruments into a captivating punk-jazz sound that’s somewhere between Primus, Ministry and Stevie Wonder.
On the other hand, Ovali Virta have been known to perform several metres off the ground, hanging from a bridge on four bicycles welded together, so it is no wonder The Wire rated them, saying they have come up with a solution to the problem of making electronic music look good live. Musically, they play a mix of indie rock and electro that’s been compared to everything from Joy Division to Chicks on Speed.
Check out video clips, music downloads and real-time video camera moblogging on the Sounds Like Suomi tour-site.
Sounds Like Suomi tour at VIP Room, 459 Wulumuqi Lu, Thursday, September 15, 8pm. Free entry.