Jump to content
IGNORED

Aleksi Perälä - discussion and playlists


zazen

Recommended Posts

Aleksi Perala gets discussed a lot on the 'New + Upcoming releases' forum (e.g. this thread has 2000+ posts in it) but I think we could do with a thread here on the Music forum where we can talk about his stuff more generally. And maybe post playlists? If ever there was an artist that its worth making playlists for, its Aleksi.

A recap for those who might be new to AP:

Aleksi Perala was originally on Rephlex as Ovuca some 20 odd years ago (e.g. check out Afternoon Girl from 2001 ). Around 2013 Aleksi and Grant Wilson-Claridge came up with "Colundi" which is a set of 128 specially chosen frequencies that make an alternative microtonal tuning/set of scales within which to create music. Since then he's worked exclusively on making music with Colundi and has released a huge amount of it - over 100 albums of material since 2013.

He explains his prolific output in this 2021 interview:

Quote

 

"I make music every day. That’s my routine ... 12 hours a day sometimes. That’s all I do. And I find it’s my thing to do. At least what I should be doing"

"... but an obvious question is: aren’t you afraid that it can be counterproductive to release too much at once?"

"No, not at all, no. Because I don’t think about stuff like that. I never think about stuff like my career or something. I’m not that kind of a person. I’m more like a nature child or whatever. I just do what I’m supposed to do. Or 'what is my place in this universe?' I am just following my calling, it’s natural to me."

"But I mean, aside from the business side of things, aren’t you afraid that some really good tracks are going to get lost in an ocean of other tracks?"

"They already are! (laughs) It’s already too late… No, I don’t mind anymore. It’s like life: we have so many things, humans produce so much already. Where do you draw the line? I am just really enjoying what I do. And I like to share it. Simple as that. Smile with the universe!"

 


So he puts out a lot of music. Often there are some great tracks there, they get released without fanfare or explanation and then he's moving ever forwards and working on the next thing. And the track names are all numerical ids like FI3AC2139340, which makes it hard to remember which is which, and hard to discuss them. I can tell you that FI3AC2039070 is a banger, but thats not much use to you unless I also provide a hyperlink.

And so, WATMM, I think there's some important work to be done here, sifting through everything and sharing recommendations and playlists with each other.

In late 2020 he released a series of 16 Albums/EPs called Midnight Sun, so I'm going to start with that

Midnight Sun

together1.thumb.jpg.171481b06b9ea49d93338f1b423f4e2e.jpg

"Midnight Sun was all for Finland, the Finnish nature and the beauty here and the fact that we have something called “midnight sun” up here. At midsummer, you have to go to northern Finland to actually witness the midnight sun. With my wife, we went to see it last summer, it was awesome. I don’t think people realize that very much. I get the impression whenever I’m in Central Europe that people seem to think of Finland as a cold and dark place, which it is in the wintertime, but in summer, it’s the opposite. We have more light than the rest of Europe and it can be very hot up here as well"

Midnight Sun and some of the series that come after it have a lot of tabla-style sounds and rhythms. I found this explanation attached to a grant that a Finnish Lift company awarded to Aleksi:

"In this project I plan to use Colundi Frequencies to model physical instruments and materials. First, I analyze the sound I've chosen using Fourier analysis, a visual equalizer and my tuning ear. I calculate the ratios of the sine waves in the sound and their averages. Then I digitally build the sound of my chosen instrument part by part using colundi frequencies based on my tuning systems. I have found that the sounds of indigenous percussion instruments are best suited for this, as their upper notes are not harmonic in the usual way"

The whole of Midnight Sun is 134 tracks lasting 13 hours, I spent a few weeks listening to it and made this playlist of my favourites. Its 30 songs, 2h52m, you can think of it perhaps as a long double album. I've kept the original ordering and included at least one track from each of the 16 releases:

Edit:
Added a Phantasia Highlights playlist, see here

Edited by zazen
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"GAIA 11" is incredibly good, from start to finish. Can't say much for the rest of them.

 

Edited by toaoaoad
added embed
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's so mental to me that he got a grant from a Finnish Elevator company to fuck around with FFT transforms.

Anyways, colundi everyone!

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

would be a good case for an artist sub forum… .  .  .   .    .    .

 

Spoiler

so i can mute it :duckhunt:

 

  • Haha 2
  • Sad 1
  • Big Brain 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you can make playlists on Bandcamp but not share them...I made a playlist called Colundi Every1 with the first track from every Aleksi album in my bandcamp collection (which is pretty fucking far from all of the music he's released) and it ended up being 53 tracks and almost 5 hours lol.

13 hours ago, dr lopez said:

 

 

remember this sick track?

Fantastic track and album Mental Union 2 is so lush.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

A few more things about Midnight Sun:

I think sharing playlists is the way forwards, but outside of Spotify its hard to find a shareable playlist format. But @chenGOD has chivvied me on to try and find a non-Spotify alternative, so here is the Midnight Sun Spotify playlist I shared above as a portable .m3u playlist:

midnightsun_highlights.m3u

If you put this playlist in the parent folder above the folders of mp3s, and assuming you have a folder per album and foldernames/filenames are based on the download zips from Bandcamp, then it should correctly find the right tracks. If not, try a bit of search/replace.

@dr lopez also has a Spotify playlist of Midnight Sun Faves and it only overlaps about 25% with my one, so I guess he's coming at it from a slightly different angle, do check that out too:

Also if you really want to spend a few days (well 13 hours) going through the whole of Midnight Sun this is a Spotify Playlist of the whole thing.

Another way to try and make sense of the huge volume of tracks is to look back through the Midnight Sun release thread, so here's my

Release Thread Recap®

The thread was started on 5th December 2020 by  @pabs - "This is special"
The first page of the thread had lots of positive impressions of the new direction
By 18th December (13 days later) the third installment (2 B) had dropped, leading @Braintree to say "GODDAMNIT"
By 27th December the fourth volume was out and people started to complain - some saying Aleksi could have done more editing, several people complaining of fatigue
However volume "4 A" then dropped to acclaim from @pabs, @Hugh Mughnus, @sherkaner, @Braintree, @khov and @Extralife
By 15th Jan 2021, Midnight Sun 4 - EP 1 was released and people speculated that there might be 8 releases in total, based on @cear's stitching of the cover art.
By 26th Feb, 13 volumes had been released and people were flagging.
@kuniklo: Surely he’s taking the piss at this point.
@species8472: huge fan. but agree. my enthusiasm is non existent at this point.  
@Extralife: Yeah I stopped about three releases ago.  Can't keep up.
@Richie Sombrero: It's actually starting to piss me off.
@ascdi 
correctly points out: "lol this thread went from OMG BEST COLUNDI YET to total disgust with the amount of music being released in like 3 pages "
People started pining for the Mental Union days
Finally on March 6th the final volume Midnight Sun 6 was released.
Looking at the thread as a whole there seems a good consensus that Midnight Sun 2 A, Midnight Sun 4 A and Midnight Sun 6 were the best releases to buy as albums

In other news: Aleksi Perala is doing a live set in London next week on June 7th at The Fold

63e87d620448dba64a981d91eb56d7e1d99852b3.thumb.webp.e7b287db8726cdddbb4aff8e37f133be.webp

also Oscillations 1 and 2 which was a vinyl release from a few years ago is now up on Bandcamp

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Currently randomly stumbling my way through the UNITY series, this is quite something.

Last track on UNITY III ->

the pictures on all the UNITY artwork are christian/egyptian/indian/south american I guess? ... has anyone got details on what is being referenced by the images?

Edited by zazen
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, zazen said:

Currently randomly stumbling my way through the UNITY series, this is quite something.

Last track on UNITY III ->

the pictures on all the UNITY artwork are christian/egyptian/indian/south american I guess? ... has anyone got details on what is being referenced by the images?

Nice one - I remember the UNITY series had quite a few choice picks.

This one off the last album in the series is one of my favs:

and nice one on the m3u playlist!

 

edit: obviously a terrible metric to go by, but looking at Midnight Sun series on bandcamp it would appear Aleksi has about 240 casual fans (Midnight Sun 1 appears in 242 collections), about 130 hardcore fans (the numbers of collections many other records in the series averages out to about 130 on eyeball maths), and about 80 raving lunatic fans (four albums with under 100 appearances in collections - the lowest (Midnight Sun 5 C) being 70).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

So one of the reasons for this thread is to try to gather and share playlists. I've done Midnight Sun above so next up is Phantasia

combined3.thumb.jpg.2f73d2bfb248aa4c1cd318c94af5acd4.jpg

Phantasia is nine albums released between June and October 2021 (Northern Lights, another series, was released in the same time period). In interviews Aleksi has described it as:

Quote

Aleksi: .... Phantasia was all about playing, like, quite melodic and playful, like inspirational stuff, like, not planned, just having a jam and enjoying it. That’s the whole idea of that.

Interviewer: And it’s all hardware?

Aleksi: All hardware jams, yeah. And I got back into playing ! It’s fun making Colundi music because I can’t use a traditional keyboard and I don’t like to. Like a piano keyboard would just be messing me up, so I use the [Akai] MPC and Force and so forth, I have all the keys and it’s just been so much fun. I like to play, I try not to record so much these days but I just go and enjoy playing music. The beginning of my music making was playing the piano so I’m used to that, I just use my fingers again for as long as I can, and that’s been Phantasia. There’s a couple more Phantasia albums coming out like Phantabla, I call them. More tabla sounds, another Indian percussion. And then there’s another series, like 10 albums or more, called Cycles. And also, sound-wise, I think Phantasia is more about the exploration on world music instruments. It goes further on Cycles.

and from this other interview

Quote

PHANTASIA is about letting go, free fall, free flow. It’s somehow like an old video tape.

I spent a while listening to Phantasia, here's a Spotify playlist of the ones that stood out for me. Therein you'll find at least one track from each release, presented in the original order:

This is 34 tracks lasting about 3h30m, so a bit like listening to a triple CD.

I use Spotify because its an easy way to share playlists but if you want an actual .m3u playlist of 'Phantasia Highlights' here it is:

phantasia_highlights.m3u

^ this uses the album/track titles as per Bandcamp, so if you have the bandcamp releases and drop this into the folder where the albums are, it should find the tracks.

If you want the whole of Phantasia its 87 tracks over 8h30m, Spotify playlist here.

Probably my favourite is the last track from Phantasia III

 

Edited by zazen
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.