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Mis on techno? : Porridge Bullet’ – Hypnosaurus

Published September, 2013
by Easterndaze

Mis on techno? Publishing experimental technoid live jams made 22 years after its initial recording may sound as abstract as dubbing in a Portuguese SuperSponge commercial. But, in fact, the idea behind it appears quite clearly.

The history of analogue electronic music is basically written, some would go as far to say it’s over. But the untitled Hypnosaurus EP released by label Porridge Bullet prove something contradictory. Both the band (at the time comprised of Railo Pals on drums and Aivar Tõnso on synths) and the label come from Estonia, a country not widely associated with rises and falls of the music history of the late XX century. That’s just because there’s another storyline, the one you can’t find in The Wire’s feature on Plastikman, nor in the recent book of Simon Reynolds.

It’s a thing that comes from the Eastern Europe – which means that it can’t be easily exoticised (having in mind what happened to weird music from India or Iran) – actually, it looks like it’s a missing part of the story that someone omitted on purpose.

The whole history of Eastern European electronic experiments slowly comes out of the shade, thanks to the kamikaze music publishers from Bółt or the the recent Sounding the Body Electric exhibition in Łódź, Poland. But the actual electronic rusty underground still remains mostly undiscovered. One of the first truly devoted explorers are guys from Tallin-based Porridge Bullet collective. We’ve asked a couple of straight-forward questions to one of them, Siim Nestor, trying not to mention that Hieroglyphic Being remix on the b-side of Hypnosaurus EP.

Does the band still exist? Who are they?

Siim Nestor, Porridge Bullet: No, Hypnosaurus doesn’t exist anymore. That troupe was active early til mid-nineties and on various stages had different personnel. On this 12’’ you can hear the first incarnation of Hypnosaurus – Railo Pals on drums and Aivar Tõnso on rusty synths.

Some of the Hypnosaurus tracks Aivar recorded alone, in 1991-1992, from which he compiled a CD in 2004 called Lint nr. 33 (kiirus 19/mono) – here.

The release of “Untitled” on 12’’ – more than 20 years later when it was recorded – made Aivar dig through his old Hypnosaurus tapes. He digitalized them and played some of them at a party we had. There was some really great stuff we heard, so…
The picture on the 12’’ B-side label is actually taken at the party attended by the late and great John Peel. VisitingTallinn thanks to BBC World Service happening, he came to see some Estonian underground acts. It was third live performance of Hypnosaurus and from that time the band consisted Aivar and Raul Saaremets – a k a Ajukaja, one from Porridge Bullet team. They moved towards deep house and techno, and released a cassette album Class X 1992-1995 in 1995. (In the nineties most of the albums in Estonia were released on cassettes, CDs became more common at the end of the decade, vinyls were nonexistent)
Here’s one of the tracks from that tape

Why have you decided to press a raw recording from early 90s on a vinyl? It doesn’t happen too frequently.

Sole reason is that we at the Porridge Bullet think it might be the best piece of music ever recorded in Estonia. As it was released more than twenty years ago on a tape in edition of only 20, clearly not too many music-heads know about that tracks (or that tape). One evening we were just talking about that tape and it lead to an idea to release it on wax and try to get a remix… There were other names we discussed, but Jamal was the first we asked and he responded right away. So here he is.

Is there some more obscure awesome Estonian recordings waiting to be released?

Well, there are some of them. Old and new. Right now our short run plans involve fresh music, recorded currently. Ajukaja & Maria Minerva EP, Ratkiller, Ajukaja & Mart Avi, Sequoia 7, Andrevski… We won’t release anything less than awesome.

And if you’re looking for old Estonian music released on vinyl, then there’s a label Frotee whih started this summer and specializes on old and unreleased Estonian music , from disco to jazz. People Potential Unlimited has discovered and released Uku Kuut and his smooth R’n’B from 1980s, and it seems they will continue with his music, as well as with his mother’s Marju Kuut stuff. At the same time, the label called Jazzaggression released Jaan Kuman Instrumental Ensemble’s LP, joyful jazz from 1976-1977.

How about the economical background of your work when releasing such an obscure recording?

Just like it goes with small labels like ours: release a record, wait for it to sell some, use the income for next release.

Porridge Bullett is an initiative of Siim, his brother Madis Nestor, Raul Saaremets (aka Ajukaja) and his son Marke.

by Jacek Plewicki