WHO and what I am
I’m an electronic music artist from Helsinki, Finland, mostly known for his love for breakbeats and chopping beats, and definitely a junglist, samplist, passionate DJ, bassline-o-holic, avid music lover, breakbeat fanatic, and, I’ve heard, an artist whose breaks are “full of texture and character” (Amon Tobin).
HISTORY and my crush on breakbeats
I grew up in the rather dark and cold North of Finland.
I got into breakbeat music in the mid-90s when I was around 15 years old – that was soon after hearing some electronic music during the earlier years of the decade. Around that time, I started experimenting with electronic music and sampling for the first time.
I lived in a small countryside town where I didn’t really have anything better to do. I was around 15 years old, and my friends exposed me to some early electronic stuff and I was blown away immediately. I recorded on cassette tape everything electronic I could hear on the radio. Soon I found myself trying to emulate the tracks I heard, sampling, layering and combining all kinds of different sounds.
I heard a lot of house, dance, techno et cetera – but hearing breakbeats was so different. The flow of the rhythm was so different from all other types of music I had heard. Every time I heard a breakbeat, I felt blown away and I knew that’d be my thing. It always sounded so much better than the average four-to-the-floor beat I had been hearing until then. Fast forward to today: I’m creating modern breakbeat music with aesthetics that come from those days. More often than not, in the music that I write, there has to be some of that same breakbeat action that I used to hear because what blew me away when I was young was the breaks. The drums are the backbone, always.
My biggest influences back in the day must’ve been all the experimental acts of the nineties. In terms of ideas and soundscapes, I owe a great deal to Future Sound of London, Underworld, Source Direct, Photek, old Metalheadz crew, Dj Shadow, Dj Krust, Amon Tobin, to mention a few.
I know for sure that my surrounding environment – the dark, cold Finnish climate – has had a huge impact on forming my musical creativity and identity. I always found a lot of inspiration in the dark and cold.
PERFORMANCES and broadcasts
I have been DJing internationally playing drum and bass for several years. I also perform as a live artist to represent my love for the breakbeat to the fullest, bringing together breakbeat music of various genres and tempos.
My main preference in old and modern day electronic music is the breaksy stuff. I like to keep the set varied: I play different styles and switch between the moods. As for playing live, it’s a journey with different tempos and rhythms.
I also do a monthly drum and bass radio show with DJ Docius on Finnish Bassoradio every third Friday of the month at 8–10 p.m. GMT / 5–7 EST.
In addition to that, I have just started a new podcast series of my own.
I’m fortunate to say that my beats have found fans worldwide and they’ve been heard on several indie releases, Nine Inch Nails’ album, on a huge Amon Tobin box set, on a Bill Laswell album, etc. – not to forget the releases I’ve put out on my own label, Lightless.
I started having my music released on quite a few indie labels around 2003, after which I started my own label, Lightless Recordings around 2007 to release the kind of breakbeat-driven music that I’m passionate about: deep, dark atmospheres and strong rhythms.
My first album, “DAYLIGHTLESS“, a heavy package of breakbeat music, was released in July 2007 on Lightless in the form of a 2CD and a 3*12″ LP. Early 2008 saw “LODGE“, a collaboration album: the result of the teamwork of Fanu, Bill Laswell, and a group of legendary jazz musicians, which was released all over Japan, Europe and USA.
July 2009 witnessed the release of my second artist album, “HOMEFREE”, a 3*12” package of nine tracks of the trademark Fanu-style breakbeat music. The third album, “SERENDIPITY“, came out on October 31, 2011. Resident Advisor’s review – which gave the album a generous 4/5 – agreed with many drumbeat diggers’ views that it was quite versatile.
After albums, it was time to work on some EPs for a change: “Coffee Crazy EP”, a release dedicated to my love for coffee, came out in early July 2012. Even my first-ever drum-machine excursions were very well received. The second EP for 2012, “Breakbeat Brew EP“, came out on December 3 and received a lot of support from the fans – as well as some love from Mixmag and Laurent Garnier. The latest EP is Northern Movement, which came out on March 29, and where I worked with Gigi again, as well as Emily Bowlan from St. Louis, MO, USA.
As for some recent remix business: my remix of Amon Tobin’s “Journeyman” came out on a special box set on Ninja Tune in May 2012, and I’ll be working on a remix for Two Fingers aka Amon Tobin as we speak. Somewhat recently, I also remixed artists such as Public Enemy, The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, Ane Brun, and Animation – as well as some Finnish acts such as Yona and Gracias.
You can check the discography section with lots of soundclips for pretty much everything that’s been put out. All my Lightless works can be found on Bandcamp, for example, as well as all major digital shops.
At the moment, I’m working on two albums: an instrumental hiphop one as well as drum and bass one. I do a radioshow once a month and I recently launched a podcast series.
I’m always programming beats, playing live and DJ sets (give your local promoter a nudge!), I do Ableton Live workshops and give Live training, keep sampling everything that moves, spreading the sound and the love for the breakbeat – that’s what’s always going down.
Companies supporting me:
Serato Scratch LIVE, Ableton Live, Sonalksis, iZotope and Audeze.