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Kristian Heikkila

Kombinations

EPM Music

Sometimes I don't look into artists before I listen to their stuff, so when I saw the far northern Euroname, weird non-renderable characters in the file names, and an opening ambient soundscape of winds blowing across the frozen tundra, my first thought was: "Great. More Icelandic chill music."

But was I ever wrong. The wind and ice ("Ambiencum") are soon shut outside and we are in a weird little rhythm-driven composition ("01") that builds slowly on a base of a high-speed pipe tapping and synthetic brushes on a cymbal. Heikkila adds more and more sounds to give an almost, but not quite, danceable number.

It's dark in here; only blue LEDs behind the bar and ultraviolet lights on the tables illuminate, and something is about to happen. That's "We Want our Techno," an urgent appeal to let the dance music flow, free of commercials, interruptions, product placement, corrupt DJs, and, for all I know, cover charges. It's a moving appeal, stronger than any of the political stuff we see on TV this week, and the drive is intense, even without any big drops. Now we are in the heart of this project; it's a series of dark beat mixes with few vocals and plenty of creepy ambience.

Cuts like "Khordium" and "02" and "Stakker" keep the beats going. It's over an hour of material and all sticks true to the form: Heikkila insists it's the beats that matter. How can you disagree? Don't be put off by the opening. This guy will work you into a sweat -- just remember to dry off before you go back out on the tundra.

Kristian Heikkila: soundcloud.com/kristianheikkila