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With roots stretching back to the 1980’s underground music of the Soviet Union and Finland, Alexei Borisov from Moscow and Anton Nikkilä from Helsinki have been collaborating since the mid-90’s. The duo’s live performances are a highly developed form of surrealist music, which uses a kaleidoscopic array of textures and techniques  – plundered and deconstructed Muzak and smooth jazz, fast-paced musique concrète improvisation, chaotic noise, skewed vocals, detuned guitars and wayward drumming, lo-fi fx devices contrasted with detailed digital signal processing.

The track "Engineer Strepetov's Curve" is featured on the "Wire Tapper 19" compilation CD given away for free with the April issue of The Wire Magazine.

"The Spectre of Muzak" which opens the album is featured on the "Untypical" compilation CD curated by Arturas Bumsteinas for the Lithuanian arts magazine CAC Interviu. The CD comes with this year's first issue of the magazine in April.

 

 

The gig took place at the club event organised by Finnish anti-war organisations on the United Nations Day, which is the traditional day of peace rallies in Helsinki. The venue, Belly, is located in the busy bar and nightclubbing area in the centre of Helsinki and usually hosts indie and alternative rock bands.

The evening started with a panel discussion with two ex-ministers of the Finnish government, academic analysts and others talking about "the security situation in Afghanistan". Some of the panel discussion's audience stayed for the rest of the event. The opening act was the young singer-songwriter Kaisa Vala, who accompanied herself on piano. Headliners were 22-Pistepirkko, one of the longest-running Finnish alternative rock groups.

The performance of Borisov & Nikkilä was mistakenly advertised as a trio with Tom Smith (of To Live And Shave In L.A.). Tom had cancelled his mini-tour of Russia just weeks before, when he wrote us and in his blog as well the following:

 

 

 

Naturally our collaboration with Tom Smith will continue at some point. Due out soon is a To Live And Shave In L.A. remix CD, which features contributions by both Alexei Borisov and Anton Nikkilä.

 

 

 

(The Wire, UK, July 2008)

 

 

 

(Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, Italy, September 2008)

 

 

 

 

(The Sound Projector 17, November 2008, UK)

 

 

 

(EtherREAL, France)

 

 

 

Live at Belly (NBRD-10DD) von ALEXEI BORISOV & ANTON NIKKILÄ entstand am 24.10.2007 in Helsinki im Rahmen einer Veranstaltung der finnischen Friedensbewegung - mit 22-Pistepirkko als Headliner. Mit ‚Spectre of Muzak‘ ließen sie eines der Gespenster umgehen, das die Urenkel von Marx & Coca Cola nicht einmal dann mehr schreckt, wenn es sich neben sie setzt. Mit ‚Voimakassuolaista voita‘, ‚Salute - A Children‘s Cinema Theatre‘ und ‚Engineer Strepetov‘s Curve‘ spielten B & N Stücke ihrer damals aktuellen N&B-CD Where Are They Now. B murmelt Russisch, dazu grabbeln Gitarre und Bass, aber zuckender und fräsender Elektronoise macht Striche durch diese Rechnung wie auch durch die folgenden. ‚Media and Marketing‘ ist eine Hymne, so bodenlos wie Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch und Citigroup. Da nützt auch eine ‚Mission to Moscow‘ nichts, wenn man nicht nach Putins Pfeife tanzen will. Aber nichts desto trotz - ‚Viva Rock‘n‘Roll‘ setzt als Nicht- und Anti-Hit (bekannt von Typical Human Beings, 2004) dumpf knatternd und mit verzerrten Vocals den Schlusspunkt. Friedensgesülze klingt anders.

(Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy 62, 2009, Germany)

 

 

 

(Skug #78, 2009, Austria)

 

 

 

 

(Sebastian Pantel, Nordische Musik, 4.6. 2009, Germany)