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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Since the release of I-F's Space Invaders Are Smoking Grass somewhere back in the late '90s The Hague and Rotterdam have long since established themselves as electro hotspots with labels such as Clone, Viewlexx, Crème Organization and Bunker pushing out lots of superb 12"s from artists such as Legowelt, Alden Tyrell, Orgue Electronique, Syncom Data and of course Bangkok Impact. The Italo flavored electro disco funk of what is now termed the 'west coast sound of Holland' has for some time been championed by some underground DJs but disappointingly none of these artists have actually made it out to Australia. Remedying this situation, Finnish electro disco outfit Bangkok Impact will drop a live set this week, with DJ support from DJ TLR who runs The Hague's Crème Organization label and online electro community

Currently in Japan ahead of his shows in Australia, I connected with Sami Liuski, who records under the Bangkok Impact moniker, over the internet to find out what we can expect when he gets down to Melbourne.

So what can we expect from you live show when you get down here-
"Lots of bass! I hope it's not too boring to see a skinny guy with a declining hairline behind a laptop tweaking knobs on a keyboard and shouting random stuff at mic because that is basically what's it about. I try to do some dance moves too though. I don't really like travelling with a lot of gear, especially since Australia is on the other side of the world. So I went the laptop route, it's very convenient but I guess it's not as much fun to watch as a real band or something. I mainly use Ableton Live and some midi controllers to go with the laptop as well as a mic and effects box. When I perform with Kassen we bring some more stuff to stage but the basic setup always remains the same."

Will you be playing live versions of tracks you have recorded or will it be something completely different-
"I play some of my older stuff but the set is actually more oriented towards new and even unreleased tracks. Some people might be disappointed since I don't play all the old tracks but I kind of like to bring new material with me to gigs. It doesn't get boring that way. Now that I think about it my live sound is more dancefloor oriented than my album tracks for example. The live set sounds always a bit different since I'm doing lots of stuff and even improvising with structures and stuff."

Why have you released your music under the 8-Bit Rockers, Bangkok Impact, Lolita Strap and Putsch 79 aliases-
"I am currently concentrating on my Putsch '79 and Bangkok Impact projects. There is a definitely a difference between the tracks that I release under all these monikers. 8-Bit Rockers for instance is grittier and more electro oriented while Putsch '79 is all about warm disco grooves. Bangkok Impact is definitely less retro and has a more modern sound. I usually just make tracks and see if it fits into one of my projects. If it doesn't then I would simply make up a new alias. Recently, I have not had much time to record much new music so I am mainly concentrating on my active projects, Putsch '79 and Bangkok Impact than worrying about making up new aliases."

Were you always interested in electronic sounds-
"It wasn't until I was in high school that I really heard these kinds of sounds. Pauli Jylhänkangas with whom I collaborate on the Putsch '79 project has been my friend since high school and we got into electronic sounds together. I was living in a really small village so [the] only way to hear those sounds was on national radio. Of course, I went to the library and borrowed the usual Kraftwerk albums. I started making music when I was something like 13 years old on the Amiga 500. It was really just fooling around with thes