Thursday, 10 March 2011


Finland’s Joensuu 1685 are one of the world’s best live bands. Release-wise they aren’t wildly prolific. After their download/single version of Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” in September 2009, little has been heard. So it’s pretty exciting something new is coming out.

Norway’s Splendour Records (home of Harry’s Gym) is issuing a vinyl mini album (500 copies) with Joensuu 1685 on one side, Brad Laner on the other. It comes out 12 April (download from 14 March).

Brad Laner’s familiar from Medicine and more, and his three cuts are fuzzy, psychedelic, noisy but poppy. Just how poppy is demonstrated by his wind-tunnel version of Chicago’s “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day”. It’s sandwiched between “Hero Seed” and “Fountain Climber”.

On the other side is Joensuu 1685’s “Lost Highway”. It's an extraordinary thing: just short of 17 minutes, it takes their post Spacemen 3/Neu leanings to somewhere entirely new. Incredibly powerful, it’s devotional, hymn like, hypnotic. As Joensuu 1685 become more minimal, they become more powerful. “Lost Highway” was recorded in a north Finland cabin and sets a new benchmark for the band and this type of music.

Splendour are here: Splendour

Thanks to Tim Dunham and Jonas Verwijnen.

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