As I made my way to Electrowerkz in Angel, London the crisp night air did nothing to chill my excitement as I passed through the oncoming crowds to watch and converse with one seriously cool musician: Jaakko Eino Kalevi.
His show was held in a different segment of the building than my previous trips to Electrowerkz; larger, more spacious, with an inviting bar and generous seating arrangement. Relaxing into this environment, I was soon welcomed by the unique tones of support act Kelly Lee Owens. Sensual sounds and her fading whispers swayed the audience, with the progressive beats, wind instruments and electronic ripples of song ‘Uncertain’ making this track in particular stand out.
As Jaakko Eino Kalevi (JEK) took to the stage, ‘stand out’ tracks were harder to highlight from his exceptional set. ‘The Search’ was funky and oozed the vibrancy of nightlife laced with 80s synth work, as hints of bass synth twinkled in and out, layer after layer. The crowd loved the striped jazz- inspired drums and sang as the saxophone played over a backdrop of electronic bliss. Singing, “The success of your search is up to your own effort” his lyrics had me straight away.
The song ‘Macho’ was a crowd favourite, with the girls at the front bopping, their cans of red stripe raised, as soon as its intro began. ‘Hush Down’ sounded cinematic – almost sci-fi – if Quentin Tarantino made an alien film, this would be the soundtrack. The bass synth beat behind ‘When You Walk Through Them All’ invited you to rock, as did ‘Memories’ and ‘No End'.
‘Double talk’ was special; it soothing sounds had the crowd hypnotised. Ghostly but romantic, this track highlights how JEK’s alternative music has evolved into progressive experimental pop. ‘Letter’, another gentle piece, incorporated light voices and atmospheric echoing bass synth. Gentle and full of soul, JEK reminded me of Metronomy and Little Dragon; drum beats and bass synth lines infused with funk and psychedelia.
The show seamlessly amalgamated a plethora of moods, leaving the audience with a colourful aura of sound at the end. A unique take on electronic pop, and one awesome upbeat voice to match his upbeat sound.
Words and Photography: Luke Cole