On December 1st internationally, Svart Records will release Kaukolampi's I. It is the debut solo album of K-X-P frontman Timo Kaukolampi. And today, a new video for the album track "Three Legged Giant Centipede" has been revealed HERE.
“I wanted to break all structure, to see if all form can be destroyed,” says Kaukolampi of his debut solo album. A desire to deconstruct convention is not a new thing for Kaukolampi, given that K-X-P have been blurring the lines between techno, krautrock, space rock, and experimental electronica for the last decade and forging an idiosyncratic and unique sound truly of their own.
Whilst playing some pummelling and PA-testing solo electronic shows over the last year, Kaukolampi has picked up fans such as Erol Alkan, James Holden, and Optimo; they were invited to the latter’s 20th anniversary party in Glasgow this year to perform – they’re the group Optimo have booked the most over the two decades. Whilst K-X-P still remains a strong and evolving force, Kaukolampi has created an outlet for something new in his solo endeavors. “I wanted to make music that has more space in it than I usually do. That captures this lonely sense of emptiness, of euphoria and beauty – a deep sadness,” he says. “It’s a conversation between good and evil, beauty and brutality, and it’s most definitely my inner journey.”
The resulting album is one long track broken up into five titles. Across that runs an eerie dystopian presence driven by pulsating synths and distant beats, whilst stylistically traversing across cosmic disco, techno, and dense cinematic ambience, with the starting point being Kaukolampi’s own radio show. “Initially, this album had a lot more beats on it, but every Sunday evening, I’d play music with no beats: drone, ambient, experimental, and noise. This made me change the concept, and I discarded the beats for half of the record.” It leaves space for contrast, for discordance and harmony, for gentle and loud, for the tender and the rough. This, explains Kaukolampi, is because he feels one can’t exist without the other: “This album also has that hard, violent noise that is more typical for me, but I don’t think noise can ever work if it does not have beauty.”
The album was recorded primarily in Helsinki with some parts in Berlin and was distilled down from between 50-70 “jams” that Kaukolampi had been working on over the years. The solitary working process allowed Kaukolampi to rewire his working ways, to rethink his approach, technique, and what he wanted to get out of the creative process. “I wanted to break all structure, to see if all form can be destroyed, and to see if I can get away from the programming in my brain. I’ve always worked in some song-based form: verse, bridge, chorus. I wanted to see if I could make this form disappear.” It also allowed Kaukolampi to think more carefully about his own definitions of techno and whether what he was creating fitted into the typical conventions of that genre. The answer, unsurprisingly, was no. “I love techno, but I guess the techno I make does not really suit any genre at the moment. Techno for me means sci-fi, cosmic realms, a sense of the inner journey. Like the dark side of new age music.”
Whilst this record may struggle to land neatly into a preexisting genre, it does pay tribute to one of electronic music’s pioneers. ‘Epiphyte (Requiem for Mika)’ is a segment of the record that pays tribute to the late, and truly great, Mika Vainio. Musically, it gently hums, evoking a mournful and emotive tone in its vast richness and depth. It is named after a strange plant he found in a friend’s garden in Portugal, but Kaukolampi felt its tone felt familiar. “I realized that it had that Mika Vainio-type song title vibe, so I dedicated it to him. He was an amazing talent and good friend. I miss him a lot. We all do.”
In the leadup to the release of Kaukolampi's I, see & hear the video for "Three Legged Giant Centipede" HERE. Cover and tracklisting are as follows: