New shirt designs available for Circle and Falcon. Circle's classic fist shirt makes a comeback in a new color too! Buy!
Lord Fist - Wordless Wisdom of Lord Fist
121113 | 00:46
Hail the new dawn: LORD FIST are here to usher in the New Wave of Great Heavy Metal with their debut EP, Wordless Wisdom of Lord Fist. Firmly rooted in the steel-clad sounds at the turn of the '80s, LORD FIST stride forth on golden steeds and exude rock 'n' roll outlaw attitude, charging ahead with chugging, headbanging riffs, narrative and expressive solos, and old-soul vocal mysticism. Epic without overstating the fact, the title is no idle boast; LORD FIST indeed impart their wordless wisdom through eternal heavy metal magick. And with youth on their side and their ideals in the right place, this is only the beginning for LORD FIST...
BLACK 12" VINYL & TRANSPARENT PURPLE VINYL (150 x transparent purple, 350 x black vinyl)
Kuusumun Profeetta celebrates Mika Rättö's new book
161013 | 13:56
Kuusumun Profeetta will perform live in 19th October and will thus celebrate Mysterius Viiskulma-avain, the second book by their frontman, renaissance genius Mika Rättö. Rättö's Mysterius Viisikulma-avain, a collection of short stories, has just been released by Teos (available in Finnish only).
19.10. Kulttuuriareena Gloria, Helsinki
Sound & Fury: Pulsacion CD
131013 | 19:25
One of the most creative, distinctive and musically powerful small-big-bands in today´s music - Sound and Fury - has released a new CD on Ektro - label. It contains never before recorded compositions by the late great Finnish composer/drummer Edward Vesala.
This music takes the listener on a gripping musical adventure, juxtaposing pulsating tunes for brass and percussion alongside works with experimental guitar and lush orchestral textures. At times harsh and others achingly beautiful, this music is sure to be both riveting and rewarding for anyone with catholic musical tastes.
Vesala´s music (arranged greatly by Iro Haarla) transcends the boundaries of jazz embracing equally classical, rock, folk and tango traditions. The remote beauty of Finland is evoked at the heart of the music, together with the importance of magic and myth in Finnish culture Vesala´s music somehow achieves a seemingly impossible mixture of complex textures, melody, emotional expression and sheer joy!
All Vesala´s writing bears an unmistakable signature. It has ever been so with the masters. Melody is the one that sets everything in motion. All melodies stretch sinuously over long curves, arch, fall back, undulate and fall back upon themselves. Each melody implies its particular harmony, structure, tone colours, rhythmic embellishment and instrumentation. This music gives a musician freedom to express himself from whisper to loud cries but also requires utmost concentration, understanding of the musical language and of the story and emotion behind the notes. Sound and Fury does it all!
Foreshadowed by the hit single Beer and Ribs, FALCON (EX-CIRCLE) continue their ascent to rock 'n' roll heaven with their full-length debut, Frontier. With a dazzling array of textures and tempos, FALCON (EX-CIRCLE) take the listener on an instantly addicting journey through lazer-beamed AOR and soft rock, with more than a few nods to hot-rockin' weekend rock. Stained-glass synths soar majestically across pulsing beats and power balladry, anthems for one and anthems for all, heading out on the highway with the top down and the sun in your eyes and the wind in your hair. Appropriately, the song titles themselves explore timeless themes like "Miami Tits," "Vegas Sundown," "Leather Seat," "Ace of Hearts," and of course the mandatory "Beer and Ribs." This is music for the Everyman, and also for the greater good: unapologetically populist arena-sized sounds beamed in from outer space. Frontier will take you there; hitch a ride with FALCON (EX-CIRCLE).
Circle - Incarnation CD/LP coming soon
200913 | 01:12
The discography of CIRCLE is as vast and winding as the legendary Finnish band's history: From blissed-out quietude to teeth-gnashing noise and virtually everything in between, CIRCLE have done it all, and always with their characteristically quirky charm. Now, that very same quirkiness extends to the band's actual moniker, as they've recently "loaned" it to other bands and musicians while they're meanwhile exploring cosmic AOR and soft rock in Falcon (ex-Circle). The first fruit of this unusual alliance/dalliance is appropriately titled Incarnation. From the first seconds in and onward, it's readily apparent that this Incarnation is quite a different CIRCLE. Sure, CIRCLE have done plenty of loud/aggressive/"extreme" records before, but never have they been as brutal 'n' burly as they are on Incarnation. Fittingly, the members of "this" CIRCLE have deep roots in the modern Finnish death metal underground; the names of their current or ex-bands aren't necessarily important. And yet, par for CIRCLE's course, the downtuned 'n' devastating death metal across Incarnation isn't "just" the death metal that's so common to the nowadays scene, but rather is taken to more unusual, often-hypnotic ends, with textures and tempos quite uncommon for the genre. The result is record that's inviting and beguiling in equal measures, but is exciting and defiant at every turn - hail the new Incarnation!
Out soon as CD and LP
Aktor - I Am The Psychic Wars
200913 | 01:04
In a world of collaborations and compromises, AKTOR achieves these ends by sustaining a respectful silence between its creative contributors: avant-garde serialists Jussi Lehtisalo and Tomi Leppänen in Pori, Finland, and across the Atlantic in Chicago, heavy metal singer/songwriter Professor Black.
All in all, one could say that AKTOR plays Top 40 Heavy Metal with a delicious psychedelic flair that may one day have some fans in common with Sandy Perlman, Alan Davey, and/or Roky Erickson. Truthfully, AKTOR’s origins are uncertain and its intentions unspecified, and its music and process are accordingly unconceptual and a perhaps bit tense. Yet the outcome has much in common with the premeditated, synthetic pop music that has dominated airwaves since the 1980s. The lyrical narrative is similarly accessible on the surface, despite its protagonist(s) speaking from altered and/or incomplete states of being.
AKTOR offers up its debut 7” single “I Am the Psychic Wars” via Full Contact Records this fall.
Toiling Midgets: Live at the Old Waldorf, July 21, 1982 LP out now!
200913 | 00:19
San Francisco's Toiling Midgets are the ultimate cult band. A pair of lengthy hiatuses notwithstanding, this predominantly instrumental entity has persevered for more than three decades and recorded sporadically for big-deal labels such as Matador, Thermidor, and Rough Trade. Configured from the remains of the scabrous punk quartet Negative Trend, the group compresses glam, psychedelia, and moody hard rock into cavernous riffs dripping with grandeur and yearning. Increasingly reclusive since the mid-1990s, the Midgets are nevertheless still extant, nonchalantly perfecting a euphonious wash that causes geezers to weep and young ladies to daydream.
But let's rewind. From 1981 to 1983, basket-case savant Ricky Williams signed on as the crew's first (and last) official vocalist. The notorious Bay Area eccentric had already cemented his legend, having played drums for Crime and been ejected from a nascent version of Flipper. Most prominently, he'd also fronted the Sleepers. With his stream-of-consciousness lyrics, street-person growls, and rich if tormented baritone, Williams channeled addled soul singers, accidental shamans, and a malignant decadence rooted in Iggy and Bowie's ugliest fantasies. Originally documented for a radio broadcast by KFJC, Live at the Old Waldorf, July 21, 1982 catches the Midgets at the apex of their collaboration with this bewitching loose cannon, mere months after their pivotal debut, Sea of Unrest, arrived in stores.
The weeks preceding the show were hallucinatory and insane for guitarist Craig Gray. Unable to see what was transpiring, he had driven home shortly after depositing his girlfriend and her mother at a meeting with a Persian prince. Mama and her equally crooked beau were attempting to extort money from the wary royal, but undercover cops nabbed both women at the scene and initiated a search for the missing vehicle. Without realizing it, Gray had narrowly escaped arrest, and he was tooling around in a borrowed car on which local law enforcement had placed an APB. To boot, the automobile's trunk concealed a wealth of stolen goods.
A sketchy vibe permeated the gig itself, as well, particularly once headliner and professional catastrophe Nico entered the club. She implored everybody within earshot to pay her taxi fare and engaged Gray in a game of pool, coolly eviscerating him until her drug connection waltzed in. When it came time to perform, Williams was MIA, off god-knows-where doing god-knows-what. Reeling from their perverse encounter with the Velvet Underground chanteuse, the Midgets took the stage anyway. Roll tape!
Chiming harmonics announce the previously unheard lumber of “India” as the stars slowly begin to align. Tim Mooney's elastic, backwards-sounding rhythms and delinquent skateboarder Jonathan “Nosmo King” Henrickson's drowsy bass frame Gray's tight, circular hybrid of grainy chords and glimmering leads. Fellow guitarist Paul Hood rides waves of sustained feedback and scratches the musical canvas with all manner of abstract-expressionist abrasions. Several minutes through the opening tune, Williams finally materializes. Despite his volatility, he warbles with enough passion and lucidity to seduce your little sister. As the evening progresses, the Midgets fluidly replicate seven classics from Sea of Unrest plus a developmental arrangement of “Before Trust,” which would eventually appear on their 1985 sophomore LP, Dead Beats. Oddities in the set include the anthemic “Walk on Jesus”—a revision of “Aaron Song” from the cassette-only 4 Track Mind—and the delay-dappled “General Echo,” a raging aberration not actualized in the studio.
So there you have it. History in the making. Or something like that. In the early '90s, Williams worked with the Midgets again, but his sudden demise truncated that reunion. By then, Mooney had left the fold; 20 years later, he, too, would leave this earth. Gray and Hood, however, continue to keep the fire burning. Which brings us up to date. In the near future, Ektro and I hope to compile an anthology of unreleased Midgets highlights spanning 1980 to the present. But for now, Live at the Old Waldorf should suffice as a fleeting recollection of an epoch steeped in truly debauched glory.
The first track off the collaborative album by Mamiffer and Circle "Enharmonic Intervals (for Paschen Organ)". Out 10/15 on SIGE Records (2xLP) and Ektro Records (CD).
Forget what you know about the Seattle-area sound-art project Mamiffer and the Finnish hypno-rock institution Circle. Enharmonic Intervals (for Paschen Organ), the first in a proposed series of joint efforts involving these parties, contains few of the musical hallmarks you might associate with either performer. The comforts of austere piano sketches and solemn nocturnes are largely absent; the wallop of repetitive rhythms and metallic kitsch is nowhere to be found. It's as if an unseen hand has erased the auditory signatures of each group and left behind only impressions, embers, filaments, and shadows. As with Mamiffer's recent collaboration with Locrian, the work is anything but a predictable merger of two bands' established visions.
Mika Rättö and Aaron Turner
Recorded over a single day at Keski-Porin Kirkko, the nineteenth-century stone church in the heart of Circle's hometown, the basic tracks for Enharmonic Intervals exude divine inspiration. Caressed by Faith Coloccia, Aaron Turner, Jussi Lehtisalo, and Mika Rättö, the house of worship's immense Paschen organ sets a liturgical, contemplative mood, which persists unabated through a cycle of improvisations and short compositions. The album opens and closes with slowly building sinfoniettas of sustained drone and flatlining feedback that shine heavenly light onto the wan, academic corpse of avant-garde minimalism. In the middle, all sorts of hell breaks loose: Coloccia chants wordless omens on a distant shore, Turner shouts his lungs out, Lehtisalo speaks in tongues from atop synthesized snowbanks, Rättö gargles operatic gibberish, hummingbird guitars flutter past, and delicate chords glisten like dewdrops on Arctic lichen. Much of this earthly ruckus stems from additional sessions spent brainstorming, fine-tuning, cooking, and stoking the sauna at the Lehtisalo family cottage, deep in rural Finland. (A couple of months later via the miracle of technology, Eyvind Kang tacked on a spot of viola while visiting Turner and Coloccia at their Washington state abode.)
Instead of engaging in some lazy superstar jam, Mamiffer and Circle have gone above and beyond to create a site-specific triumph that bridges the gap between serene, holy bliss and the warm, messy sprawl of humanity. Amen to that, brothers and sisters.
EKTRO RECORDS once again expands its arsenal of the weird 'n' out-there with a reissue of a cult Christian metal classic: LEVITICUS' breakout album, The Strongest Power. Yes, you read correctly - Christian metal. But a cult classic The Strongest Power most definitely is, released in 1985 to widespread acclaim in the international heavy metal press, with even Kerrang! calling it "one of the best records of the year." And yet, as time went on and the "white metal" tag became more a curse than blessing, not to mention the band breaking up in 1990, the LEVITICUS legend was banished to the back-pages of obscurity. That the Swedes' lyricism unabashedly espoused their Christian beliefs doesn't detract from the timeless heavy metal songcraft across The Strongest Power: spanning the gritty, working-man's American metal of Virgin Steele to the sometimes-moody/sometimes-shimmering melodicism of Heavy Pettin', with even bouts of up-tempo Tokyo Blade-style action, this crucial LEVITICUS document encapsulates everything boisterous and brilliant about '80s metal. With a clutch of immediately memorable, energetic-at-any-tempo tracks as its foundation, The Strongest Power's spiritual themes can be extrapolated into traditional heavy metal themes - individuality, freedom, power, glory, rocking, running in the night - thereby making the record a true "diamond in the rough" which generations of metallers can now enjoy as they please. On your knees and praise The Strongest Power!
Räjäyttäjät pre-order available – Sähkö-shokki-ilta delayed
070813 | 23:58
Räjäyttäjät - Awopbopaloopop Alopbam RÄJÄ! is now available for pre-order along with the upcoming albums by Ranger and Leviticus.
The release of Claes Andersson, Kalevi Seilonen, Erkki Kurenniemi, Otto Donner: Sähkö-shokki-ilta CD (ektro-099) has unfortunately been delayed for another month due to a manufacturing error.
Shop taking a break
020813 | 11:35
Ektro's shop is taking a small break while Circle & Pharaoh Overlord are on the road. Normal activities and deliveries will resume on August 13. Orders can be placed normally during this time.
Circle/Pharaoh Overlord – forthcoming shows in August:
03.08. PL Katowice OFF festival
06.08. DE Berlin NK projekt
07.08. DE Berlin NK projekt*
09.08. DE Döbriach sauzipf rocks
10.08. BE Geel yellowstock*
*as Pharaoh Overlord
Räjäyttäjät - Awopbopaloopop Alopbam RÄJÄ! CD
020813 | 02:37
AWOPBOPALOOPOP ALOPBAM RÄJÄ!
Räjäyttäjät are a rock trio from Jytäskylä, Finland. Some in the Finnish music press think they could be the saviours of rock'n'roll. Whether they are or not is anyone's guess. But never mind the umlauts, Räjäyttäjät means the 'Detonators'... and they are more likely to explode everything they touch.
In two years they have gone from an audience of six, and self-released cassettes, to playing big festivals and their first officially released album in Finland - "AWOPBOPALOOPOP ALOPBAM RÄJÄ!" on Ektro Records. Vinyl version will be released by the band's own label Räjä Records with a little help from Rock'N'Roll Bullshit Recorsd. US version of the vinyl will be available on Bat Shit Records.
With Rock Siltanen on bass, Villisika on guitar, and Baddad Reed on drums, the original rhythm and blues plans for the group were swept away in a manic orgy of blood, sweat, and rock'n'roll. In Finland we have come to call this music Räjä'n'roll.
You might hear some Stooges, MC5 and classic garage stuff in there, along with Faust, Dr. Feelgood, ZZ Top, and the odd surprise attack of The Fall. Another big influence comes from 80's northern rock bands like Radiopuhelimet and Jolly Jumpers, but mostly they are influenced by a Finnish form of rock from the 70s called Jytä, and bands like Sleepy Sleepers, Popeda and last, but especially not least, the Hurriganes.
This record is Räjä'n'roll. Explanations explode before you can describe this, and don't worry if you don't understand what the lyrics are about... They're all nonsense, just like the greatest rock songs! TUTTI FRUTTI & RÄJÄLUJA!
AWOPBOPALOOPOP ALOPBAM RÄJÄ! will be released on August 30, 2013. A record release party will be held in Tavastia-klubi, Helsinki on 31 August with Pää Kii and Gretel, and after that in Grilli 21, Jyväskylä.
Beer and Ribs out now!
310713 | 22:23
Falcon (ex-Circle) – Beer and Ribs 7" OUT NOW!!!
Available on standard black (ltd to 350) and clear (ltd to 150) wax.
Hexenhaus were one of the most fascinating and original Finnish post-punk bands in the mid-80s, drawing their decadent momentum from the alleys shadowed by factory chimneys of the industrial town of Pori. Rocking in the spirit of Virgin Prunes and Bauhaus, Hexenhaus embody a touch of the insane horror of The Cramps and Peter Straub as well as the humanity of Hermann Hesse. Scraping off the coarse layer of ominous nihilism reveals a shade of pink softness and unrestrained twinkle, which sets Hexenhaus apart from their contemporaries. Full Contact Records (Ektro) releases this compilation LP together with Svart Records. Jumalan kosto includes Hexenhaus’ debut single Ikiyö/Katakombi, the unreleased follow-up single, various demo takes from along the band’s career from 1984 to 1987, and their last recording Suutele minua Kate picked from the compilation EP Antakke Leipä.
"Hexenhaus represent an '80s post-punk oddity rather than anything remotely similar to the Svensk metallers of the same name. This collection brings together their one and only single along with a comp appearance and no end of unreleased tracks, showcasing the band as they morph from one spiky incarnation to another, their thunking bass-lines, windmill-armed drum-patterns, and wild ululations shifting between sounds reminiscent of WIRE, SWELL MAPS, and THE EX to fiercer terrain akin to a less embittered NO TREND and morose, mumbly, JOY DIVISION-inspired pieces. Whichever it is they’re playing, though, it’s all gold" - Zero Tolerance [4.5/6 rating]
"Gothic rock meets post-punk, very reminiscent of JOY DIVISION meets THE ELECTRIC PRUNES and more than a dash of early SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (or later, THE BIRTHDAY PARTY) thrown into the mix. If you’re into British music shows from the '80s like Top of the Pops, Old Grey Whistle Test, and Something Else, you’re familiar with the style...very much up my alley, bringing to mind bands as ostensibly far removed as THE JAM and DANSE SOCIETY. Very cool, very recommended" - Third Eye Cinema webzine
Ektro Records once again expands its arsenal of the weird 'n' out-there with a reissue of a cult Christian metal classic: LEVITICUS' breakout album, The Strongest Power. Yes, you read correctly - Christian metal. But a cult classic The Strongest Power most definitely is, released in 1985 to widespread acclaim in the international heavy metal press, with even Kerrang! calling it "one of the best records of the year." And yet, as time went on and the "white metal" tag became more a curse than blessing, not to mention the band breaking up in 1990, the LEVITICUS legend was banished to the back-pages of obscurity. That the Swedes' lyricism unabashedly espoused their Christian beliefs doesn't detract from the timeless heavy metal songcraft across The Strongest Power: spanning the gritty, working-man's American metal of Virgin Steele to the sometimes-moody/sometimes-shimmering melodicism of Heavy Pettin', with even bouts of up-tempo Tokyo Blade-style action, this crucial LEVITICUS document encapsulates everything boisterous and brilliant about '80s metal. With a clutch of immediately memorable, energetic-at-any-tempo tracks as its foundation, The Strongest Power's spiritual themes can be extrapolated into traditional heavy metal themes - individuality, freedom, power, glory, rocking, running in the night - thereby making the record a true "diamond in the rough" which generations of metallers can now enjoy as they please. On your knees and praise The Strongest Power!
Arkhamin Kirjasto - Undead Priest of Holy Trinity of Death 7"
150713 | 11:54
Available on standard black (ltd to 500) wax.
ARKHAMIN KIRJASTO, the Finnish Kings of Lovecraftian Hard Rock & Death Metal, are back with a 7" EP entitled Undead Priest of Holy Trinity of Death, featuring three brand-new songs from the sessions in which they recorded their critically acclaimed debut album, Torches Ablaze.
The title track is an unholy recital about a zombie priest evoking an undead horde. "The Nomad" tells the story of a vicious revenant wanderer who slaughters everything he sees. "Spellbound & Tortured" is a mangled vision from the eyes of a sadist wizard.
Musically, this EP delivers the most straightforward ARKHAMIN KIRJASTO to date and the band sounds nastier than ever. The cover art is courtesy of Eero Reiniaho, the mastermind behind the album covers of STENCH OF DECAY and DEPRESSION.
ARKHAMIN KIRJASTO is currently laying the foundations for their upcoming album. Be warned.
Ranger - Knights of Darkness MLP
120713 | 15:26
A four-piece HEAVY METAL unit, RANGER shifts into overdrive with their debut vinyl titled Knights of Darkness. Prepare to be mangled, thrashed, and shocked when you drop the needle on this brute. RANGER'S debut MLP is the real-deal pounding metal you haven't heard in ages. This music is based on the very essence that makes HEAVY METAL music so powerful: a vocalist that sounds like a banshee on the attack, double-lead guitars that send shivers down your spine, and drums hammering like a freight train on the loose. RANGER will split your skulls, one by one, with their intense energy and power that can be heard in every single second of this release! For reference, think old SLAYER, RUNNING WILD, and TYRANT (US) in a car crash on the way to Hell, but 666% RANGER: the Knights of Darkness are on the march, and there's no escape!!!
"You should be making music primarily because you love it. Most everything else is a bonus. If you have fans at all, great. If you can play around your home town, or maybe throughout your country, fantastic. Recording your music should please you first and foremost -- how else could you expect anyone else to get into it? If you do start to become really successful, your troubles will truly begin."