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Six By Six: Jori Hulkonnen

The Finnish electronica maestro picks his favourite tunes

2016 Mar 21     
2 Bit Thugs

Perhaps unsurprisingly, ambient records, synth-pop and Detroit techno feature heavily in Jori's picks


Gino Soccio - There’s A Woman (RFC Records, 1979)

"Timeless Canadian disco from the 70s that has sounded modern for almost 40 years."

Nick Holder - Da Sambafrique (NRK, 1998)

"I have probably about five copies of this record, because I just kept wearing them out. Now I have it on my USB key. Forever."

Faxid - Acid In My Head (Blank LTD, 2005)

"Jesper Dahlbäck doing acid is the best thing there is. Not too hard to guess who’s doing the vocals on this one."

Modus Vivendi - Modus Vivendi (FNAC, 1993)

"Before Ludovic Navarre was St Germain, he did this in his Detroit mode. An absolutely fantastic record, although it's not your typical peak-time banger."

Ink And Needle - Number Two (Tattoorecs, 2006)

"I love the long build-up on this, and the pay-off when the chords come in still gets the crowd everytime."

This Cat Otis - Revolution (Cat Trax, 2015)

"This is fairly recent compared to these other selections here, from 2015. But I can see this getting plays for years to come - it's just sublime."



Scotch - Evolution (Beat Box, 1985)

"Italo disco never really was a genre for albums, but this particular record was the exception."

Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls (Epic, 1984)

"Hearing this record for the first time was a revelation. I still remember it like yesterday. It made me want to start making music."

Rhythim Is Rhythim – Icon (Transmat, 1996)

"Emotional, deep techno. In the early 90s I was doing everything from house to pop, from trance to acid, but it was records like this that made me discover my own style."

Carl Craig - At Les (Planet E, 1997)

"I saw Carl Craig performing this live at Sonar festival in 1997, when I was playing there for the first time as well. I was so overwhelmed and inspired by his live show, and especially this track, that when I got back home I basically spent two days in the studio non-stop, and made a bunch of tracks that would end up on my Spirits Inside Me album."

Basement Jaxx - Samba Magic (VC Recordings, 1996)

"Although I was making kinda deep, Detroity-stuff this time, as a DJ I loved playing more organic-sounding house, and even some Latin grooves. I used to finish my sets with this for maybe two years. I just felt this is as good as the party gets - you just can’t play anything after this."

Two Banks Of Four - City Watching (Sirkus, 2000)

"From a production point of view, this record opened my eyes on many levels. Far removed from dancefloors, yet still somehow extremely urban and current while not being pop. It was also the first record I bought after having moved to Helsinki. This was the soundtrack for me getting to know the city."



Ennio Morricone - Amore Come Dolore (RCA, 1970)

"From 1970, this is one my favorite Morricone tracks. I'm so psyched that I'm going to see him live in a few weeks, performing with a 200-piece (!) orchestra."

Jaakko Eino Kalevi - Mind Like Muscle (Weird World, 2015)

"My favorite pop song from last year. That's the term 'pop' in the broadest sense possible, you understand."

Suicide - Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne (ZE Records, 1980)

"I've been listening to Suicide a lot recently. They defined a certain sound which I think is even now still not fully explored. I guess people like John Maus owe a lot to them. Totally unique, endlessly charming, very inspiring stuff."

Aphex Twin – Actium (R&S, 1992)

"There’s no way I could’ve done a list with no Aphex Twin in it. He really is in a league of his own."

New Musik - The Planet Doesn't Mind (GTO, 1981)

"A criminally underrated record from way back in 1981, this is new wave synth-pop at its finest."

Tonto’s Expanding Head Band – Cybernaut (Embryo Records, 1971)

"This is from 1971. It’s pretty amazing to think how ahead of its time this was."



Processory - Change Is Gradual (Sugarcane Recordings, 2011)

"Before my current synth-pop band, SIn Cos Tan, I had Processory. Vocalist Jerry Valuri and myself wanted to create ambitious futuristic electronic pop music. I still think it’s maybe the best thing I’ve done."

Jori Hulkkonen - Errare Machinale Est (F-Comm, 2008)

"I’ve done close to 20 albums, but this is maybe my solo favourite. The idea was to create a musical autobiography of sorts. It also features some great guest vocalists."

Stop Modernists feat Chris Lowe - Subculture (Keys Of Life, 2011)

"Stop Modernists are me and my buddy Alex Nieminen. We always felt that this New Order song would make a fantastic deep house cover, and when we got Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys to feature on vocals it all was kinda perfect."

Tiga - Speak Memory (PIAS, 2009)

"In the past 15 years Tiga and myself have written a crazy amount of songs together, the latest hit being Bugatti. But I’ve always preferred the more pop stuff we’ve done, most of which is still unreleased. Of those that are out, this is my favourite and a great example of our songwriting partnership."

Jori Hulkkonen - Black Books (My Favorite Robot, 2015)

"Taken from my latest album. I’m really proud of this one: I do the vocals and play all the instruments on the album and I really feel I stretched the envelope on this track compared to what I’ve done before."

Jori Hulkkonen - Heights (F-Comm, 1996)

"The last track on my debut album, Selkäsaari Tracks, which came out in 1996. So it’s the 20th anniversary this year. It totally sums up the mood of all the things I loved back in the mid-90s."



David Bowie - I Can’t Give Everything Away (ISO/Columbia, 2016)

"Basically any Bowie track makes me cry these days. I still can’t handle the fact that he’s gone. But this, the last song of his final album, is very special. What an exit."

Klaus Nomi - Cold Song (RCA Victor, 1982)

"One of the most amazing characters we’ve ever had in pop music. His story is bizarre and ends in a tragedy, and casts a dark shadow on his music as well."

Billy Mackenzie - Transimission Impossible (One Little Indian, 2004)

"A posthumous collection of stripped-down recordings that really show what a vocal talent he was. Not to mention the songwriting."

Jens Lekman - Pocketful Of Money (Service, 2004)

"Cancer? AIDS? Suicide? No wait, Jens is still alive! I actually made a cover of this track with Alex as Stop Modernists, and we had the Italo-disco legend Fred Ventura on vocals. It was all very Balearic house, where as this original cuts straight to your heart in a different way."

Scott Walker - Farmer In The City (Fontana, 1995)

"I remembe I bought the album this is from, Tilt, when it came out, and put it on and fell asleep only to wake up crying while this song was playing. Such a strange and powerful song. Still gets me everytime."

Japan - Ghosts (Virgin, 1981)

"All these songs are basically male vocalists giving powerful performances. Maybe that says something about me."



Various - I Am The Center (Light In The Attic, 2013)

"A compilation of New Age music in America from 1950 to 1990. An absolutely essential record."

Manuel Göttsching - E2-E4 (Inteam, 1984)

"I sometimes wonder what kind of a world we’d live in if this record didn’t exist. It’s a scary thought."

Delia Gonzales & Gavin Russom - Days of Mars (DFA, 2005)

"It’s not revolutuonary, but when it came out it was the freshest sounding album I’d heard in ages."

Gavin Bryars with Tom Waits - Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet (Point Music, 1993)

"I really like a lot of the minimalist stuff from the 60s and 70s. This being an obvious example, especially with the re-recorded 90s version that maxed out on the CD length, 80 minutes."

The KLF - Chill Out (KLF Communications, 1990)

"It does the job the title promises."

Anything by Coldplay or Kanye West

"The previous examples make me relaxed. These just make me want to be unconscious."


Black Books by Jori Hulkkonen is out now on My Favorite Robot, featuring remixes from Kenny Glasgow, My Favorite Robot, Doc L Junior and Butr & Nitin

Pic: Noora Isoeskeli