news - releases - shop
Toni Laakso: s/t
"Toni recorded this amazing material when he was a teenager who had just got his first drums. While Toni bangs the drums, whistles, sings and plays the kazoo, the batteries of the tape recorder are running out, which gives the music a totally otherworldly atmosphere. This might be one of the most psychedelic records ever!!"
"It takes some real confidence to release a challenging release like this in anything more than a micro edition. No surprise then that the uncompromising and always-fascinating Lal Lal Lal imprint stands behind this release which was recorded by a Finnish ninth-grader, Toni Laakso, back in 1990 and 1991. Equipped with various cheap musical instruments this young fellow was still obviously trying to find his own musical expression. Even though being rough, primitive, seriously damaged and utterly lo-fi one can’t help but be impressed by Laakso’s vision. It’s possible that knowing his age at the time of the recordings may add something to my appreciation, but I still think Toni Laakso would actually stand up rather well in comparison with most of the far out contemporary avant and noise artists making the rounds these days."
-Mats Gustafsson / Broken Face #16
"Best archival release of the year, must be the one documented here by Finnish drummer Toni Laakso from back when he was in ninth grade. 'Toni Laakso' (Lal Lal Lal LAL8 7") was recorded in the basement, with a variety of cheap equipment, and a technical approach that is perhaps a bit more primitive than most. But the results -- largely the work of maliciously handled drums and unidentifiable electronic gee-gaws, has as much otherness validity as most of the American Tapes stuff I love so much. One gets very little sense, however, what Mr. Laakso thought of this stuff at the time. It'd be interesting as hell to have had some notes with him discussing his feelings about it both now and then. This is the kind of contextualising (as was done on that 'Thuunderboy!' CD by Tony Conrad's infant son on Table Of The Elements) that really makes the whole thing translatable. As it stands, this is just mysterious. Which is cool to, of course. It's just -- inquiring minds NEED to know."
- Byron Coley / The Wire, January 2004
"The Toni Laakso title is actually a 7”. Continuing in the great tradition of confusing 7” releases from Finland: think of the first few Liimanarina singles, or those hilarious Paska records. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard acapella 'Ace of Spades'. The Toni Laakso 7” is the music made by an early teen in his bedroom, armed with cassette players and loud, splashing drums. His vocals chant mysteries known only to the blooded self. Primitive cassette manipulation runs known music at high speed, garbling the transmission, while Laakso pounds his kit in refreshingly non-linear fashion. It all gels, somehow. Reynols are now not the only act capable of providing such unique disorientation. Extra points for liner notes where each chapter switches to a different language - the first, in Finland’s home language, providing tantalising references: '...joiden kaikkien joukkue oli NWOBHM ja pelaajanumero 666, sekä piirteli Iron Maidenin levyjen kansista tuttuja Eddie-hahmoja.'"
-jon / worldsofpossibility.blogspot.com