The Song Navigator: Eco (Echo) – Lauri Ahtinen shows us what Eco sounds like

Eco (Echo) is one of the songs that were created in an absurdly short period of time, when we had decided to take the principle of “a song out every two weeks”. When I first heard it, I was amazed. I had taken part in the compositional work quite actively, and I’d proposed loads of ideas for the song we were indulged in. My handprint was crucial in what became Eco; almost all the ideas we used came from Okko, whereas the vast majority of the ditched ideas were mine…

The song couldn’t have hit me better, and I ended quite many busy nights then by stopping to listen to it, far too loud, all by myself, with my headphones on. I do admit that there is a place and a time for “feel good music” (on a sunny Saturday, yes), but far too often in music I crave for a feeling of threat, danger and aggression, discharged by ways of music.

This kind of music is a delicate kind, as expressing feelings through rhythm and melody is often a paradox. A west-African happy going rhythmic exhilaration easily makes me pretty frustrated by the time of the third song, due to an overdose of good vibrations. And the northern, anguished death metal tends to tumble down to something so pathetic it only makes you laugh. With Eco, I think we managed to paint quite an accurate picture of one sort of an emotional landscape.

A long time ago, as i was getting all excited about our future (now recent past) comics collaboration with Ville, I asked my friend Lauri (that also is a comics artist, I wonder how we tend to befriend with them) to re-draw our promo pics in the good old Kylli-täti style. I set the pictures on his table, I set the camera and the light pretty badly, and pressed play on his stereo (this time the song was Eco), and there he went, beautifully smutting the picture to suit the soundscape of the song. The resulting video leads us to suspect that his feelings aroused by the song are somewhat close to mine. And despite the black paint he uses, I believe we both pretty much like the song.


The Song Navigator: Óyela

I often feel I have to explain the language choises of our lyrics. Why write songs in Spanish in (Northern) Finland when no one’s gonna understand them?

Veo que me miras de distancia
no entiendes nada de mis palabras
estoy hablando en una lengua
que no quieres oír porque no es tuya

I can see you looking from a distance
you don’t understand a word of what I’m saying
I’m speaking in a language
that you don’t want to hear because it’s not yours

I find myself returning to this basic question over and over again if not because of our audience then because of questioning myself. The lyrics for the song Óyela surfaced from this question that is somewhat personal to me as a songwriter and a singer. Somewhere along the way the lyrics became a part of an even bigger message that can be regarded as a kind of message of tolerance: Music is a universal language – why could it not function as a bridge between us people? If only we had the skill to listen to it.

Hablar es mucho más que palabras
una forma de música
tienes que escucharla
Oye, oye, óyela

Speaking is so much more than just words
a form of music
you have to listen to it
Hear it, hear it, hear it

Bajo Cero’s songs are written in Spanish. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be Bajo Cero’s songs. As I would not be me, should I take the easy way out and start writing the lyrics in my native language Finnish or in English. Anyway even though all our listeners might not fully understand all of our texts I do believe that the music does relate a feeling that in itself is a message.

No me voy a cambiar
lo que digo es la
la sonrisa en mi cara
suena como la musica

I will not change who I am
what I say is the truth
The smile on my face
Sounds like music

For me Óyela is a summer song. From the beginning I’ve always thought it to be that song that you sing with your hands up in the air at some summer festival, while the sun is setting on a lake and the Finnish festival folk is full of love and tolerance (and maybe just a little bit of beer too).

Waiting for the summer,

New music video out now!

Bajo Cero’s new music video Óyela is produced in collaboration with comic artist Ville Ranta. The ambitious objective of the video was to shoot it in one pass changing locations while Ville is making the drawings. After a month of preparation we almost pulled it off with couple of exceptions. The camera was attached to the highly modified movable drawing board which also held the key lighting setup for the whole video. Ville doesn’t actually appear in the video until the very last frames.

Music video by Bajo Cero performing “Óyela”
Directed by Okko Meinilä. Drawings by Ville Ranta
Script: Okko Meinilä, Ville Ranta, Kili Kauppi
Camera: Okko Meinilä, Joni Kesti
Thanks to: Tiina Junno, Kaisa Hurtig, Erick King, Bar Never Grow Old
© Impïria Records 2013

Buy the new record “Óyela” at Recordstore Äx or iTunes.