Finland’s got something to be giddy about musically nowadays; the producers native to the region have been making rounds from past to present, ranging from the near-legendary Tes La Rok, the always-intriguing Desto and the newest star on the block, TEETH.
Then there’s Clouds, the duo of Tommi Liikka and Samuli Tanner, who have truly paved their own way in the current climate of producers not just in Finland, but internationally. Having released tunes on labels like 2nd Drop, RAMP Recordings and Deep Medi, their sound is never stuck in one place and always finsd something sonicallty fresh to explore. With their latest Deep Medi release, Lot Of Calls From No One PT2, put out last week, as well as a forthcoming full-length in the pipeline, URB chatted with the duo about their origins, the Finnish music scene and their upcoming future. Along with that, they provided an intricately deep mix of tunes carefully crafted for our podcast series. Tracklist and interview after the jump.
URB: How did the two of you meet and become the duo that is now CLOUDS?
SAMULI: We’ve known each other for a long time; probably since ‘99 or something. We occasionally did some things related to music together, played at the same events and at some point we were in a folk band together with some friends. Then in 2006 there was a room for rent in the house Tommi was living in, and I moved in. Tommi was already organizing dubstep/grime parties, when one day we did this mash-up of Benga’s “World War 7″ and Baby Cham’s “Ghetto Story” to be played as a one-time special in a party. It was so much fun working together that we decided to start producing our own music as Clouds.
URB: Some people still don’t know that you’re a Finnish duo. How’s the music
scene in Finland? Is there support for your sound as well as other Finnish
TOMMI: There’s lots of quality electronic music coming from Finland that many people here don’t even know about. The biggest problem here is the lack of good venues. We live in such a small country that there is a limited amount of gigs you can play a year, but there still is an active bunch of people who come to see shows, always.
URB; How did you get in touch with Deep Medi?
T: We started sending music to Mala before there was such a label. Mala is one of the few we’ve sent almost all the tracks we have made. In the spring of 2008, we sent a bunch of new tunes for him, and we were playing a gig in Shanghai when we got a message that he wanted to put out “Protecting Hands” on Deep Medi.
URB: Besides Deep Medi, you’ve managed to release a bunch of tunes on
different labels — RAMP, 2nd Drop, etc — how do you maintain the
expansiveness of your sounds when you’ve had releases different labels?
S: I can’t concentrate on one thing; it’s probably a good and a bad thing. Our sound keeps changing and taking different forms every time we go to the studio; but sometimes its difficult to fit tracks together. I’m not sure if we will ever be at a point where there will be just one sound that we will be doing. Maybe that is our
sound; just to be looking for the next one.
URB: Tell us a little bit about this mix you’ve made for URB.
T: It’s a mixture of new stuff we’ve been listening to lately and some old favorites from both of us. Actually, we had to cut the amount of tunes to half to keep the mix within the 60-minute timeframe. There are a few of our own productions that will probably end up on our future album. Also, there’s a song from a project Samuli has been working with his little sister Tiiu.
I started reading URB in the late 90’s, it was one of the only magazines that I could find stuff about L.A. underground hip-hop (Goodlife/Project Blowed), so I feel honored that you guys asked us to do this mix.
URB Presents: Clouds – TRACKLIST
1. The Residents – The Festival Of Death
2. James Blake – Pan
3. Clouds – Untitled
4. Peaking Lights – Tiger Eyes (Laid Back)
5. Mala – Bodyclock Delay
6. Klaus – Tarry
7. Clouds – Untitled
8. Earkus – Mostfool
9. Spectre – Telemundo
10. Kevin McPhee – It’s What She Wants
11. ∆∆ – Earth Documents 1
12. Jkrl – Marks & Notes
13. Múm – We Have A Map Of The Piano
14. Clouds – Lot Of Calls From No One part 2
15. Kevin McPhee – This Is The Way The World Ends
16. Clouds – Untitled
17. Inga Copeland – Trample
18. The Residents – The Moles Are Coming
19. Tiiu Helinä – Kurja Mies
Download the exclusive mix.