Pearsall presents Rampage Turbo 10 (Celebrating 10 Years of Finrg)
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Mixed on two Technics 1210’s and a Pioneer DJM-600 in London, February 2012
(120:31, 275 MB, 320 KBPS MP3)
Zip pack (cut into individual tracks)
Style: Finnish Freeform – Celebrating 10 Years of Finrg
Direct link to the mix:
01. Carbon Based – Kraateri (Finrg)
02. The Mexican – The Land Of The Pharaohs (Carbon Based Remix) (Electrolysis)
03. Carbon Based – The Choice (Electrolysis)
04. Carbon Based & Nemes – Heaven N Hell (Electrolysis)
05. Proteus & Carbon Based – Heavy Fusion (Finrg)
06. DJ Proteus – Metal (Teflon Bullet)
07. Paocala – Starfall (Electronic)
08. Carbon Based & E-NRG – Illuminate (Electrolysis)
09. Carbon Based, E-NRG & Nemes – Prologue (Electrolysis)
10. DJ Rx – Hellfire (Finrg Hard)
11. Re-Form – Extremely Dangerous (RFU)
12. Nemes & Blender – Without Fear (Camel)
13. Alek Szahala – Dryad Machine (Finrg Hard)
14. Alek Szahala – Unicorn Grove (Electroplates)
15. DJ Rx – Killer Instinct (Finrg Hard)
16. Carbon Based – Underworld Species (Electroplates)
17. Carbon Based – Anger Ball (Nu Energy)
18. Pain On Creation – Mortality (Electronic)
19. Pain On Creation – Lush (Carbon Based Remix) (Finrg Hard)
20. DJ Proteus – Venla (Teflon Bullet)
21. Alek Szahala – Lumi (Nu Energy)
22. Re-Form – Schizophrenic (Electroplates)
23. Re-Form – Blackmailer (Hard NRG Mix) (Electronic)
24. Carbon Based – Fatal Flashback (Electronic)
25. Nomic & Pain On Creation – Make Me Real (Camel)
26. Alek Szahala – Invitation (Finrg Hard)
27. Nomic – You Have A Dream (Nu Energy)
28. Carbon Based – Ultimate Protection (Electronic)
29. DOK – Mental Ward (Carbon Based Remix) (Electroplates)
30. Carbon Based – Cyclone (Electronic)
31. Alek Szahala – Superstition (Electronic)
32. Alek Szahala – Man Eaten (Finrg Hard)
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Stream it if you like …
This weekend hundreds of people will descend on Lahti, a Finnish city 100 km north of Helsinki, to celebrate ten years of the Finrg label and, by extension, the Finnish freeform scene. It will no doubt be one of the parties of the year, with a line-up to die for.
Meanwhile, a thousand miles away in London, I’ll be doing … not much.
But that doesn’t mean that I can’t join in the celebrations, which is why I am extremely proud to present to you this very special tenth edition of Rampage Turbo, a two hour, all-vinyl, all-Finnish rave extravaganza, that starts with 155 bpm hardtrance and then builds and builds and builds to an absolutely mental 190 bpm freeform conclusion.
For those who aren’t familiar with it, Finrg is a label and music collective dedicated to creating and promoting Finnish hard dance music. For the last ten years Finnish artists like Carbon Based, Alek Szahala, DJ Rx, Proteus, Pain On Creation, Re-Form, Nomic, and, more recently, Substanced, Sam One, Horzi, Grimsoul, etc, have been responsible for some of the finest hard music ever made. As someone who has passionately supported the Finnish sound right from the beginning I’m really pleased to see them still going so strong after ten years, which is why it has been an absolute pleasure to do this tribute.
This is not, however, a comprehensive overview of their first ten years, simply because I only mix vinyl, and it’s been about five years since a Finnish tune hit vinyl! Vinyl is dead in the freeform scene, and has been so for a while, that’s the reality, so this mix is therefore a selection of some of the older Finnish tunes … which is no bad thing, because these tunes are absolutely mindblastingly awesome.
My own connection to the Finnish freeform scene is fairly small, but does go back right to the beginning, as I first encountered Ari Virtanen (DJ E-Nrg) more than ten years ago through the Banging Tunes forums. We ended up swapping tunes and chatting on MSN from time to time, and then I heard some of the first Carbon Based tracks to break through to the UK like Payback Time and Reactivated, which were posted on mp3.com (remember that?). By about 2003 Alek Szahala and Re-Form had also appeared on the radar and it was pretty clear that something exciting was going on in Finland, so when my good friend Eric (aka The Vinylpimp), who had also been chatting with Ari, suggested we head over to Finland to meet the guys in person and hang out for a bit, I was all for it.
Which is how I found myself in the summer of 2003 spending two weeks sleeping on Ari’s couch in Lahti. I have to say that it was one of the most entertaining trips I’ve ever been on, even if it was something of a weird vacation destination; ever since then, whenever I’ve met a Finn and I tell them that I spent two weeks in Lahti, they always look at me like I’m crazy and ask me what on earth I was doing there. The answer? Drinking, basically.
I certainly couldn’t get drunk for two weeks in a row any more, but age 22, just having graduated from university? Bring. It. On.
Honestly I had no idea what it was going to be like before I went, but I had a blast. Ari was a great host, and the rest of the guys that we met while we were out there (Toni, Teemu, and Petteri from Carbon Based, Ville aka DJ Rx, and Mykko aka Nemes, plus their friends) were all really friendly and took into their stride having the two of us randomly parachute into their lives for a few weeks. We hung out by the lake, listened to tunes, went to parties, sat in saunas (as a prudish Anglo-Saxon I didn’t go naked, refusing just like Rich and James from Electronica Exposed had a few weeks before me) and drank. And drank. And drank some more.
The Finns really don’t hold back on the drinking! While we were there Eric and I played the afterparty to a hardstyle night at a Tampere stripclub and when we arrived in the city early on Saturday evening there were already people out cold on the ground. Apparently there had been a city festival that day, but still. 😉 It was all downhill from there; when the club finished at 3 am and we went back to the car to get our records the streets were like an urban obstacle course … bodies everywhere. The afterparty was awesome, though – it was in the function room of a sauna (can you get more Finnish than that?), and Eric and I ended up playing for six hours, from 4 – 10 am, banging out all kinds of hard dance both back-to-back and individually. I have to say it was an interesting experience playing to people wandering in and out of a sauna; at one point I collapsed under a towel in the corner for a quick nap (I had, after all, been drinking pear cider for a number of hours at this point) before waking up, staggering back to the decks and booting Eric off. Good times!
The Finrg room at Koneisto
The other big highlight of the trip was going along to Helsinki’s Koneisto festival, where Finrg were hosting a small, incredibly sweaty room. DJ’s included Rx, Neon, and Mark Tyler from No Entry in the UK, but the highlight was unquestionably the Finrg Collective’s live set, which was Carbon Based plus Nemes. I’m not sure how ‘live’ it was per se, but the music was utterly banging, and that was enough.
And that, in the end, is what this is all about: the music. It’s taken me a while to get to the point (nothing strange there), but these guys make awesome music, and they have been making awesome music for the best part of ten years. And not only is it awesome, but it is also distinct, with a special flavor all its own. This was especially clear back when their tunes first started spreading in about 2003; they were producing hard trance and freeform hardcore that was obviously influenced by UK sounds but that then took it off in a new direction, a colder, cleaner, darker sound that represented to me the full flowering of what freeform hardcore could be conceptually. Obviously I love and do love the UK freeform sound, but I think that to a certain degree it was always held back a bit by the larger UK hardcore scene, i.e. by the need to produce tracks that the cheesy quavers in big rave main rooms wouldn’t hate. Without that limiting factor, the Finns seemed to confidently explore a new frontier.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s still rave music, of course, and rave music remains at core functional music for going mad to (or to listen to while staring at spreadsheets, as I do, but I digress). Even so, the Finnish sound – all thundering kicks, razor bass, and great twisting layers of synths like rampant digital kudzu – took rave music to an entirely new level of hypnotic, intense, beautiful brutality. Where did this come from? I’m not sure, although Teemu from Carbon Based gave a good insight to a crucial inspiring factor when I interviewed them for Harderfaster:
Pearsall:Do you think the high bpm’s of your tracks put you in touch spiritually with your Viking ancestors?
Teemu: (laughing) Ok, the speed of our tracks is just because there is a seven month winter here and it’s so freaking cold and dark. It’s really dark so when we have parties we have to dance really fast to get ourselves warm. Everyone is so fucking pissed off that they are so cold they have to dance fast to get warm. It’s kind of a formation of mind, you know, you get a clear mind when you are dancing so fast, so furious.
Truer words have rarely been spoken … which is why I’ll end the essay there. This music is hard, fast, dark, light, uplifting, terrifying, and more … there’s nothing like the Finrg sound. Enjoy the mix, and here’s to another ten years of Finrg!
The sauna boys are in the heat … (l-r) Teemu Lahtinen (Drumhead), Toni Eronen (Carbon Based), Ari Virtanen (DJ E-Nrg), Ville Sorsa (DJ Rx)
Finrg collective track reviews from my old blog:
You can stop reading now
Last of the Finlandicans
Finally, a gallery of pics from our trip, all taken by Eric. Make sure to check out Vinylpimp!