For all of the second weekend in July, Alppipuisto (Alppila park) has been host to music events. I headed along on a Friday to check out the bands in Elephantasy. I got there in time for Lossi T & Juoksut to perform. I’ve seen these guys perform a few times recently, notably at the World Village Festival and at Kallio Kukkii festival. In fact, the pictures and video in this post are from the World Village Festival performance, because the glare of the sun behind the stage in Alppipuisto was terrible for photography.
This 8 member band perform Finnish language rap, with down to earth lyrics about trying to scrape together a few cents and that feeling you get when you’re just so darned hungry. They pulled in a really good crowd from passers by at the World Village street stage. At Elephantasy they did try to drum up some enthusiasm, and the crowd applauded happily, but no one was going to dance because the sun was out for a change, and we were all stretched out like cats on the grass. Even so, their newly released (self-titled) album sold well.
For all that African influenced music is popular in Finland at the moment, the difference between the way that Finnish popular rap and reggae sounds and the way that close-to-the-roots African music sounds is quite pronounced. It was particularly noticable when listening to Saïsba wedged in-between Lossi T & Juoksut and Kuningasidea.
From Senegal and Finland, this is a new project, who were playing live for what I believe was the first time. Having absorbed enough sun, people came up to dance to the music, which was lively and relaxing simultaneously. Part of me wishes I could have understood the lyrics, but I was also glad of the opportunity to listen to the voice as an instrument. I’m not sure what language(s) the band perform in, but I am reasonably certain it is not French – the range of options that leaves to choose from is quite high, according the the impressive list of languages that Senegal hosts.
All in all, this was quite easy listening, and I could easily have listened to it in the background all day, tapping my foot to the rhythm subconsciously.
Kuningasidea are officially Too Big For This Blog, what with being signed with Warner, having their single played all over the radio and even hosting an excellent gig at Ruisrock on July 6th. For Elephantasy they came on stage dressed as native Americans, though hopefully not the same group that MC Venakko & Kielipeli sing about in their most controversial song (warning: it’s not for kids, or even most adults!). However, I didn’t get any decent pictures as the crowd converged upon them, leaving me way out back.
What I did plan to say about these guys is that, if you want to check out something a bit more underground, then you should come to one of VäinöVäinö‘s open jam sessions at Mascot when he’s not too busy touring to host them. Last time I saw one there was a guest performance from Tuure Kilpeläinen, and the quality of the improvisation at the jam sessions is unbelievably good. Imagine how happy I was to discover that the Elephantasy after party at Mbar was hosting an open jam!
Playing on stage were members of Kuningasidea, Nok Nok, Lossi T & Juoksut, DJs including Goldshift and several guest MCs, including Lossi Turunen (aka Räppäävä Taksikuski). The MC performances were in three different languages, all excellent, and the music was perfect for M-Bar’s terrace. It was the cream of the day’s events, for sure. I’m still happy on it, two days later and I wish there was another next week.
Kudos to the Elephantasy organisers for all their hard work and the great acts that they put on.