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Madam I'm Adam

Pekka Airaksinen

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Album Review

This two-CD set offers a subjective but nevertheless pertinent overview of Pekka Airaksinen's eclectic musical career, from the Sperm's unclassifiable experiments in the late '60s to his comeback as an experimental laptop artist in the early 2000s. The album, one disc of previously available (but mostly hard to find) tracks by Airaksinen and one disc of remixes by a wide range of electronica artists, has been compiled by Anton Nikkilä. His selection favors Airaksinen's most extreme music, leaving his new age leanings of the '80s and '90s untouched. The non-chronological play list makes for a hectic ride, but somehow it communicates the man's chameleonesque character. From the early days, there are three tracks by the Sperm, including the 20-minute freakout "Dodekafoninen Talvisota," to which one must add Airaksinen's solo piece "A Little Soup for Piano and Orchestra," reissued on the Love compilation CD Arktinen Hysteria a couple years earlier — that's a total of 38 minutes of experimental sounds unlike anything else at the time. There is also one track from the mid-'70s Gandhi-Freud project, several from the early '80s (the Buddhas of Golden Light LP and Jewel Comet archival CD-R), and a few recent pieces released under the moniker Ajraxin, in which Airaksinen drops his very synthetic-sounding keyboard patches of the '80s to jump into the digital age. Some tracks are confusing, but they all present fascinating idiosyncrasies. The remix CD revisits each piece on the "best-of" CD, in the same order — a very interesting idea. Most remixers stick relatively close to the originals (one glaring exception is Curd Duca's three-minute mix of "Dodekafoninen Tavisota"). The artists involved include Nikkilä, Nurse With Wound (who referenced Airaksinen's first solo LP in their legendary list of influences), Mira Calix, Notchnoi Propekt, and Airaksinen himself (a demented remix of the already mad Sperm track "Organ"), but the highlight comes from Simon Wickham-Smith's ambient take on "A Little Soup for Piano and Orchestra." ~ François Couture, Rovi

Madam I'm Adam, Pekka Airaksinen
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