Islaja - Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh, Wed 24 Oct 2012
Experimental electronic show featuring the Finnish singer alongside Anak-Anak and 'Raven 'Shuns
‘It will all work out fine,’ murmurs Merja Kokkonen, aka Finnish chanteuse Islaja, standing before her keyboard. Kokkonen is sounding decidedly snuffly for her return trip to Edinburgh. Islaja’s appearance is a slightly downbeat climax to a quadruple bill of very different electronic imaginings.
First up is Anak-Anak, solo guise of Conquering Animal Sound vocalist and knob twiddler Anneke Kampman, whose looped warbles sound like a strangely penetrating and appositely spartan chorale. ‘Raven ‘Shuns is a noise-scene supergroup of Rhian Thompson, aka CK Dexter Haven, Stuart Arnot and Susan Fitzpatrick, who record as Acrid Lactations for their own Total Vermin label. It’s a quiet riot of toytown scrapings that might just have discovered the true sound of string. Tomutonttu is fellow Finn, Jan Anderzen and a table-top of FX pedals with which he conjures up an urgent sci-fi stew.
Islaja herself opens with an analogue instrumental with nods to John Carpenter’s early, synth-based film soundtracks before an understated set of breathily classicist ditties. Like the woman said, it worked out fine.