20 June 2011

Reupload - Dracula's Daughter - Candy

You'll remember, of course, that I once mentioned that Bill Drummond and Mark Manning (aka Zodiac Mindwarp) wrote and released a number of records in 1997 under the guise of up-and-coming acts from Finland? Oh, you don't. Well, if you really need more information on the slightly baffling project (which in fairness is no more or less baffling than most Drummond activities) a website still sits here.

As only 500 copies of each were ever pressed and imported to Britain, they're naturally extremely scarce, and actually tremendously varied in quality as well. Some - such as KLF roadie Gimpo's self-titled "Gimpo" - are an absolute waste of precious pressing plant resources. Others - like Aurora Borealis' self-titled "Aurora Borealis" - were actually extremely good, but I won't waffle on about that one too much since it's already been posted on this blog elsewhere.

Draculas (sic) Daughter's "Candy" sits somewhere between the two. Manning and Drummond periodically used local Finnish musicians and singers for the recordings and just directed their style, and it seems fairly safe to say that's what happened in this case. What you've got here, then, is a pretty good Velvet Underground apeing disc which wouldn't have been out of place amidst the mid eighties music scene, or indeed the late sixties one. It's hypnotic, repetitive and insistent, and features some agreeably lazy, scuzzed up guitar work in the instrumental break. Please don't ask me why the original title "Supermodel" is scrubbed out on the label, because I have absolutely no clue...

One has to wonder if Drummond was trying to belatedly achieve with Kalevala a project he mooted a long time ago for Zoo Records, where he created "parallel universe" versions of bands on their catalogue. The Teardrop Explodes were to become Whopper, and featured Cope's alter-ego Kevin Stapleton on lead vocals who "enjoyed a game of rugby and liked the odd pint". These occasionally poorly disguised Finnish bands with their records released by a fictional clueless sounding Finnish indie record label owner do bring to mind a parallel universe Zoo Records, set up in Helsinki rather than Liverpool. Only Drummond could honestly back me up on my hunch, though, and I've a funny feeling he won't bother.

1 comment:

theautistformerlyknownasflinch said...

[text taken from a website where it sits randomly following text on another Drummond project]

KRISTINA BRUUK - Between Heaven and Helsinki

Kristina Bruuk took her own life on the 31st of December 1999. At the time she was living in Naples, after having moved from her home city of Helsinki some months earlier. Her suicide note was a hand written memoir of no less than 100,000 words.

Kristina Bruuk had been a Finnish singer songwriter. In her early 20s she had been part of the thriving Helsinki scene in the mid 60s, ‘dating’ numerous of the rock musicians, poets and artists of the era. Her own attempts at the time to make any artistic impression seemed to flounder. Peter Laakkonen, the now legendary Finnish rock star, financed Kristina Bruuk to make a number of recordings. Some of these were released a 7” 45s, but all failed critically and commercially. After the Helsinki scene stagnated and collapsed she moved to Paris in time for the riots of ’68. From there she moved to Barcelona in the early 70s and onto Oporto in Portugal. There were various other European cities she lived in for short periods. By the late 1990s she was living in Berlin. She was there when the Wall came down.

With each new city she would keep writing both poetry and prose and make a living in whatever way she could. But her various addictions and abusive relationships seemed to have a habit of always catching up with her.

By the late 1980s a new scene had begun to blossom in Helsinki. Within this scene the now impossibly rare Kristina Bruuk singles from the late 60s, had become the ultimate collectable records. They were the touchstones for the new young bohemians. By this time no one in Helsinki had any idea of the where abouts of Kristina Bruuk. Most assumed she was long dead. Some Helsinki bands even started to cover her songs. One of these bands being Dracula’s Daughter, an all female four-piece indie rock band. Dracula’s Daughter successfully tracked her down in Berlin and invited her to return to Finland and sing on some of their own recordings. One of these was a song called Candy. This was subsequently released as a single on the Finish label Kalevala. The underground success of this record then led to the Kalevala label signing Kristina Bruuk to write and record her own album.

Although the album was recorded, Kristina Bruuk is said to have fallen out with not only all the musicians on the sessions, but with Hannu Puttonen, the boss of the record label. He had taken it upon himself to pay for her to go into rehab and have a therapy crash course. She walked out of both of these within days of starting. All plans to release the album were shelved, and Kristina Bruuk soon left Helsinki for the last time, heading for Italy and another ‘new’ life.

That was one version of history.

There is another.

Bill Drummond
Easter Sunday, 2016
(excerpt from Bill’s original sleeve notes to Between Heaven and Helsinki)

Beautiful, mysterious and weird. The Perambulator’s deep observations bring these strange and wondrous characters and landscapes to life. What is the Helsinki Stone Circle? Who is Kristina Bruuk and what is perambulation? Find that out and you’ve discovered the key to everything.
– Brad Warner (Hardcore Zen)