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Review: Jori Hulkkonen – The Man From Earth

Artist: Jori Hulkkonen
Title: The Man From Earth
Label: Turbo
Genre: Techno
Format: CD, Digital
Buy From: Juno Records, Juno Download

Jori Hulkkonen loves his vintage synths – indeed he’s the conductor of the world’s first Acid Symphony Orchestra, comprised of 11 mad/brilliant Scandinavians armed with dinner suits and Roland TB-303s.

It therefore comes as little surprise that Man From Earth, the Finnish producer’s tenth studio album, has its fair share of acid house stylings. It’s at once moody and melodic, with Hulkkonen deftly using his machines to produce ethereal beats one minute and storming dance floor fodder the next.

Some of these tracks have been lurking in the recesses of Jori’s collection for nearly 20 years (the chorus on “Man From Earth” comes from a song Hulkkonen originally wrote in 1991, aged 17); some are more recent productions. And despite – or perhaps because – of this, the album maintains an incredibly cohesive, mature feel.

The slow burning growl in “Dancerous” is one of the album’s highlights, as are Jerry Valuri’s vocals on “I am Dead” and “Man From Earth”. Elsewhere Turbo boss Tiga chips in with a vocal cameo on “Undercover” under his alias as the Dove. The vocals on that track – “undercover as a music man,  I bide my time and plan, I have a greater calling” – could quite easily be an ode to Hulkkonen, who often boasts about a stellar career in which he “has never become popular”, thus allowing him to work unencumbered by the strains of stardom.

The quality of this album suggests he’ll be lucky if he remains “undercover” for much longer.

Review: Aaron Coultate