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|Stylistic origins||Psychedelic trance, Goa trance|
|Cultural origins||Mid-1990s, Finland|
|Typical instruments||drum machine
Suomisaundi, (English: "Finnish sound") also known as suomisoundi, suomistyge or spugedelic trance, is a style of freestyle psychedelic trance that originated in Finland around the mid-1990s. "Suomisaundi" literally means "Finnish sound" in Finnish; music that features many of the characteristics of suomisaundi has gained global popularity. The term "spugedelic" is comically derived from "psychedelic" and "spuge", meaning "an alcoholic" in Helsinki slang. The term "spugedelic" was likely first used by suomisaundi artist Huopatossu Mononen, releasing a track called "Kikapelaus (A Spugedelik Return To Monoverse)."
Steady fanbases in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Russia and Eastern Europe have resulted in producers creating Finnish style psytrance music around the world. The term "suomisaundi" is typically used only to describe music that is produced in Finland whereas music produced in the suomi tradition but outside of Finland is more loosely described as "freestyle psytrance."
The genre is generally not as formulaic as most current psytrance, with artists having more freedom to explore their own individual sounds and styles. The most recognizable element of this style is that it has no set rules apart from basic trance elements such as the four-on-the-floor kick drum that has characterized the majority of electronic dance music styles to date. Suomisaundi tracks are usually very melodic, including heavy influences from early Goa, tribal beats and acid trance tracks, as well as funky guitar/keyboard loops and sounds from or reminiscent of 1980's video and computer games. Some artists such as Luomuhappo and Tekniset have incorporated Finnish folk melodies into their tracks, giving their music a more distinct Finnish sound. Finnish nature has also played an important role in the direction of the Finnish sound, with suomisaundi parties frequently taking place in the forests of Finland and tracks and albums often referencing this aspect of the genre, for example Puoskari's album Open the Forest and Haltya's Forest Flavor and Book of Nature albums.
Songs frequently include distorted sampling, layers and combinations of effects, tricky drum fills and breaks, as well as speech samples in Finnish or in English. On many occasions there are forms of strange humor and/or self-irony in the music or in the track titles. Some even describe the suomi-style of psytrance as anarchistic and almost punk in the trance music scene, because the songs are usually very different and progressive compared to mainstream European psytrance tracks.
Some have criticized suomisaundi because early examples of the genre had inconsistent production quality and, due to the limited distribution of recorded albums, many tracks were not available in high-fidelity formats. These criticisms, however, have become increasingly inaccurate as the average production quality has improved significantly and the majority of releases are now distributed with a minimum quality of 320kbit/s MP3.
|Music of Finland|
Finnish acid, Goa and psychedelic trance has been produced in Finland throughout its existence, starting in the early 1990s when the Goa/acid trance culture began to form. Suomisaundi was originally born from a vehement hate of Tuubi, was a term used for everything that was not considered suomisoundi. There are many artists in Finland producing suomisaundi; notable artists that started the "suomisaundi-fuzz" include Haltya and EvsY.
Texas Faggott, released by Australian Psy-Harmonics label in 1999, is considered by many as one of the early relics of the weirder-edge suomisaundi. The popularity of Texas Faggott grew amongst the Finnish trance scene with their second release, Petoman's Peflett in 2001. Group member Tim Thick has been an active promoter of Finnish psy-trance, as he established and operated Thixx'n'Dixx (http://thixxndixx.stc.cx/) in 2000, a site offering free MP3 downloads from almost all of the existing Finnish psy-trance artists including tracks from his own groups. After its initial opening, the Thixx'n'Dixx site grew, offering new MP3 albums from different suomisaundi artists and eventually became so popular that it was mentioned in a pop music program on Finnish national TV.
Pelinpala released his album My CD has landed on the nextdoor neighbours dog in October 1999 on legendary Demon Tea recordings (Australia). Pelinpala's album was a mixture of extreme psychedelia and considered one of the classic psychedelic suomi-sound albums. Pelinpala later became active in another well established Finnish old school psychedelic project: Haltya.
So far Haltya has released three albums, Forest Flavor, Electric Help Elves and Book of Nature and a good number of other published works in their unique style of funky forest sound. Haltya is considered to be one of the psy originals in the world, due to their characteristic approach in music. They are one of Finland's most wanted live acts abroad. The main figure behind Pelinpala and Haltya is producer/composer Tommi Sirkia, who is responsible for a wide range of musical contributions in Finnish modern electronic dance music, and is one of Finland's most internationally acknowledged electronic music producers today.
Squaremeat has created a unique "power disco" sound, releasing several well-received albums. Squaremeat's Pepe Kosminen is a long-time trance producer and important figure in the Finnish psychedelic trance movement, producing solo albums as well as collaborations with other artists within the genre. Projects that he has been a part of include F-Virus, Flying Scorpions, Gruuvit Muuvit, Midilitto, Nano Buds, Lightaman Jr. and Dirty Dreds.
Since 2000, the global interest in Finnish trance has grown significantly, with many Finnish groups touring internationally and performing to a growing global fan base. However, usually outside Finland, the Suomi-style is still considered an eccentricity within the context of the psytrance genre. Most notable suomisaundi audiences outside Finland are in Russia, Ukraine, Japan and Australia. The Japanese label, 6-Dimension Soundz, concentrates almost exclusively on releasing suomi-style trance.
Two of the most notable suomisaundi labels in Finland are Exogenic Records and Freakdance Records, but many of the popular Finnish trance-artists might not have recorded, making their music only available as MP3s on the Internet. After site-hosting problems and excessive bandwidth usage, the Thixx'n'Dixx site operates nowadays merely as a suomisaundi link catalogue, offering links to individual suomisaundi artist pages at mikseri.net, which is a Finnish MP3 community for unsigned/independent artists. Another popular MP3 download site for suomisaundi music is the Antiscarp-website, hosted by members of the Finnish psytrance group Salakavala.
Notable music names in this genre
- Huopatossu Mononen
- Texas Faggott
- Scum Unit
- Shiwa 2000
- Pavel Svimba
- Eraser vs Yöjalka
- James Reipas
- PsyUniverse - Psytrance Social Network.
- Finnish psy-trance forum Elixiria