The Kalevala Singles

Kalevala Records was a fictional Finnish label conceived by Bill Drummond and Mark Manning. Named after the Finnish national epic the label was established to release a series of 7″ singles and albums by equally fictional bands and artists inspired by their novel Bad Wisdom.

Failing to find any real Lapp punk or Arctic soul acts like the ones they described in the book, Bill & Z1Mark Manning’s alter ego ‘Zodiac Mindwarp’ invented the acts and hired musicians and singers in Helsinki to record the songs at Finnvox studio in Helsinki in late 1996, including the project’s producer Janne Louhivuori on guitars, Anssi Nykänen on drums and Harri Rantanen on bass, while J-P Virtanen played keyboards and Mongo Aaltonen performed drums.

While the original plan was to record a couple of cover songs in Finland and pad out the album with original songs the duo had heard on Finnish radio, the recording sessions went so well that Bill and Mark decided to continue more songs with the same lineup and bring in additional singers like Veeti Kallio acting and performing as the lead singer of The Fuckers, and Hannu Leidén who would take on the guise of The Blizzard King, while background vocals on several songs were contributed by Finnish folk music group Angelit.

It took a couple of trips, but by spring ’97 Bad Wisdom (The Original Soundtrack) was recorded, and we were proud men. It featured such fantastic bands as The Daytonas, Gormenghast, The Blizzard King, Aurora Borealis, and The Fuckers. We knew everything possible about these bands: their dates of birth, favourite foods, where they met, line-up changes, suicide attempts, drug habits, love lives, the lot. The fact was, none of these bands existed anywhere but in our imaginations. Mind you, that’s where all great bands exist. Being in a band or into a band is all about building, living out and worshipping (or loathing) a myth.<span class="su-quote-cite"><a href="" target="_blank">Bill Drummond (45)</a></span>

Canceled Releases

During 1997, six singles where officially released through Liverpool record shop Probe Records, each of them limited to 500 copies. However, both the soundtrack and Puurtinen/Bruuk’s full-length album were canceled due to poor reception of the singles in the Brisith press which considered the Kalevala singles as a practical KLF joke only.

The Tragic Tale Of Kristina Bruuk

Perhaps the most mythical of the Kalevala artists was the tragic character of Kristina Bruuk, performed and portrayed by Aija Puurtinen, lead vocalist of the Finnish band Honey B. & T-Bones. Originally brought in as a background singer, the duo liked her performance so much that they decided to let her record a whole song, Candy. After the track received somewhat fame in English underground scenes, Bill and Mark contacted her again to sing a new song, Supermodel, and decided to create the fictious character of Kristina Bruuk, an Estonian artist and ex-model who had moved to Finland to start a promising but critically failed career as a singer songwriter.

A full album, Between Heaven And Helsinki, was recorded in late 1997, and Puurtinen even did a live performance as Kristina Bruuk at the Finnish Institute Of London on Finland’s Independence Day. However, with the Kavelala project coming to a sudden halt all plans for a full release got canned.

According to sleeve notes written by Bill the album got shelved after Kristina Bruuk had fallen out with both the session musicians and record label boss Hannu Puttonen. It’s perhaps only fitting for and adding to the fictional and ill-faited career of Kristina Bruuk that her album, of all things, went unreleased.

The character of Kristina Bruuk allegedly committed suicide on December 31st, 1999. Her story is probably best told in a radio play broadcasted on Resonance FM on 24th March 2017.

Possible Future Releases

While the Bad Wisdom soundtrack remains unreleased to this day, Between Heaven And Helsinki is expected to finally get a physical release in 2021.

Another song by Kristina Bruuk, Pleasant Valley Sunday, was released as a B-side of a split single on Finnish record label Flycatcher in March 2021. Whether this is one of the original tracks or a completely new recording is unknown at this point, though it has been announced as a new single on Bruuk’s Twitter account.

Tracks & Formats

Artist biographies are taken from the original Kalevala press information. All artists and band members listed in the biogs are fictional. It’s worth pointing out that none of these actually link the singles to the Bad Wisdom soundtrack or the book itself.

Dracula’s Daughter: Candy (KALA 001)

7″ Single / 1997
A Candy
B Candy (Version)
Perhaps if I tell you the four girls who make up Dracula’s Daughter prefer to be called artists rather than musicians, you get the picture!

Paivi Talvernsaari (guitar/vocals) – video artist
Aija Vanska (bass/vocals) – Helsinki film festival cordinator
Marja Kirjava (organ) – contemporary art gallery curator
Leena Tornkvist (drums) – 70’s funk DJ

Ask them their biggest influence they tell you without hesitation Kristina Bruuk (guest vocal on “Candy”) Andy Warhol and the young british art scene. Before signing with Kalevala the girls have released two english-speaking EP’s on their own label. These recordings were only available in few selective book shops and art galleries in Finland and Scandinavia. To see Dracula’s Daughter playing live is a very rare priviledge and usually only in selective art events and private celebrity parties. The girls are not interested in gigging and touring in particular.<span class="su-quote-cite">Kalevala Press Release</span>

The original title printed on the label, Supermodel, is crossed out and replaced with Candy, the former being an unreleased song by guest vocalist Kristina Bruuk. Both artists were portrayed by Finnish singer and musician Aija Puurtinen.

The Fuckers: Sexy Roy Orbison (KALA 002)

7″ Single / 1997
A Sexy Roy Orbison
B Sexy Roy Orbison (Version)
We are proud that Kalevala is home to world’s only Lapp punk band. The guys are punking for more than one decade already and still nobody like them, ha ha! But they do not care because they hate everybody and everything! Except your english cider!

The Fuckers is made of:

Billy Fuck (vocals)
Nasty Fuck (quitar)
J.J. Fuck (bass)
Sick Fuck (drums)

Not like Dracula’s Daughter The Fuckers are gigging all the time (276 shows in Finland and Scandinavia in last 12 months!) The guys like to play at beer festivals (do you have cider festivals in UK?) and have a 100% record of turn up at these shows in particular. Maybe they will become as big as Green Day. What do you think?<span class="su-quote-cite">Kalevala Press Release</span>

Gimpo: Gimpo (KALA 003)

7″ Single / 1997
A Gimpo
B Gimpo (Version)
Underground UK film maker who met Aija Vanska from Dracula’s Daughter at Helsinki film festival in 1996. Aija has love with Pertti Hurme of High End World Reciever (top Helsinki techno act) and Pertii persuades Gimpo to make a recording during his stay in Helsinki after hearing some really wild storys from Gimpo about his life as drugs, girls and techno music.

Gimpo is formerly veteran of UK war with Argentine in Falklan Islands and has made film of top UK rave band K Foundation.

We hope to make record deal with Gimpo for moer material but he is tricky guy to get commitment! Lets cross fingers since we think this is very talented guy and maybe huge rave act in Finland and Scandinavia.<span class="su-quote-cite">Kalevala Press Release</span>

The Daytonas – Faster Gimpo Faster Kill! Kill! Kill! (KALA 004)

7″ Single / 1997
A Faster Gimpo Faster Kill! Kill! Kill!
B Faster Gimpo Faster Kill! Kill! Kill! (Version)
Buzz, Uri, Hank, Speedy, Cosmo, Boris and Ghandi are seven brothers of same family. The poor mother you say! But no. This incredible lady is manager of this fastest in the world surfbeat band! The guys started to play in 1962 and are touring most of the time since then but now they have not been back to a recording studio since 1965. The surfbeat craze is very big here in Finland in early 1960’s and The Daytonas stay loyal to this style with now some quite old followers of them back home.

Hank is father to Aija Vanska from Dracula’s Daughter and was introduces to UK film maker Gimpo at Helsinki film festival in 1996. The single “Faster Gimpo Faster! Kill! Kill! Kill!” is written to honour Gimpo.<span class="su-quote-cite">Kalevala Press Release</span>

The Blizzard King – Break On Through (KALA 005)

7″ Single / 1997
A Break On Through
B1 Strangers In The Night
B2 In The Ghetto
One of Finland’s most successful artists in the domestic market. The Blizzard King records his own compositions in finnish and records cover versions of english and american songs in english.

This guy is mysterious. He lives on a small island where he make compositions and mend his fishing nets (oh yeah! He also find time to do his other job of fisherman but Kalevala hope not for to long now!)

This guy is very deep and thinking. He does not making music for money he says “Music is no for buy and sell. Music is for survival”. This huge guy is captivating presence. His voice will haunt you.<span class="su-quote-cite">Kalevala Press Release</span>

Break On Through is a cover version of The Doors’ song; Strangers In The Night is a cover of the same song famously sung by Frank Sinatra; In The Ghetto is a cover of the song written by Mac Davis and performed by Elvis Presley which previously got sampled on The KLF’s Chill Out.

According to the single’s liner notes this is an extract from ‘The American Trilogy’, probably suggesting that another two singles by The Blizzard King exist in Bill & Z’s fictional universe.

Aurora Borealis: Aurora Borealis (KALA 006)

7″ Single / 1997
A Aurora Borealis (Part 1)
B Aurora Borealis (Part 3)
This is collective of musicians from Lapland who live outside from society. They come together on ocassions to make ethereal sounds which they say are musical paintings of the bleak and dreamy landscapes of their homeland.

It take many months of persuading these hermit people to the recording studio and so we “handle with care” their rare records and do not try to exploit to much the potential.<span class="su-quote-cite">Kalevala Press Release</span>

Various: Huono Viisaus (KALA 007)

Unreleased Compilation LP / 1997
A1 Aurora Borealis: Oscar’s Dream
A2 The Blizzard King: In The Ghetto
A3 Kristina Bruuk: Supermodel
A4 The Fuckers: Teenage Virgin Supermodels Eat Shit
A5 The Daytonas: Gimpo M P H
A6 Draculas Daugher: Candy
A7 The Blizzard King: Strangers In The Night
A8 The Blizzard King: Break On Through
B1 The Fuckers: Sexy Roy Orbison
B2 Gimpo: Gimpo
B3 Molten Rock: Immigrant Song
B4 Gormenghast: Mountain
B5 Aurora Borealis: Aurora Borealis
B6 Gormenghast: Light House At The Top Of The World

Huono Viisaus (commonly refered to as the Bad Wisdom soundtrack) was scheduled to follow but got cancelled due to the poor reception of the previous singles by the British music press. The compilation would have included new songs by previous Kalevala artists as well as contributions by two new bands, Molten Rock…

Ice biker music is originally in Finland since the middle of 1970’s and this genre of music is the very heavy and hard metal and Molten Rock is the most heavy and hard of the ice biker bands in our country.

They make their recordings live in their gang club house. “Recording studio is for girls!” say Molten Rock.

They play always so long back anybody remembers the classical Led Zeppelin “Immigrant Song” and youth in Finland believes it Molten Rock who write the song in the original! Ha ha!<span class="su-quote-cite">Kalevala Press Release</span>

… and Gormenghast.

Big name in progressive rock music here in Finland as well as very huge in eastern europe and baltics. Twenty four LP’s of instrumental music in twenty four years since the band come together in 1973!

Peter Darklord, a legend in his own life, still lead the band today. Still heavy under the influence of Nietzche (philosopher), Wagner (classical composer) and The Kalevala (Finland’s most national and epic story).

“Gormenghast is no just music, it is philosophy of life” say Peter Darklord.<span class="su-quote-cite">Kalevala Press Release</span>

According to Discogs only six test pressings of this LP are known to exist. A bootleg CDr including all 14 songs was released by Positive Void in 2001. Another earlier bootleg includes the previous singles only and lacks the tracks exclusive to the proper compilation.

Huono Viisaus is (of course) the Finnish translation of Bad Wisdom, while the Gormenghast song’s title Light House At The Topf Of The World is a subtle nod to the book’s subtitle.

Kristina Bruuk: Peter (KALA 008)

Unreleased 7″ Single / 1997?
A Peter
B Supermodel
Your english saying “a cat with nine lives” very well descibes the life of this incredible lady. She flees her home town of Tallinn, Estonia in late 1960’s and soon becomes lover and muse of Peter Darklord, very influential poet/philosopher/musician in Finland in 1960’s.

Kristina nearly become famous model but heroin addiction and periods as alcoholic (of which she is OK now to talk) brings years of obscureness with now and again dark and soul-bearing records for various record labels. She is now resident in Helsinki the past twenty years where she build a big cult following with art and student communnity and appear on occasion to give informal concerts withmaybe only one quitarist to accompany.

Guest vocals on “Candy” by Dracula’s Daughter gives Kristina another chance for success. A new LP will be released in December and concerts in UK in negotiation.<span class="su-quote-cite">Kalevala Press Release</span>

Kristina Bruuk: Girl From Nowhere / Between Heaven And Helsinki (KALA 009)

Unreleased LP / Dec 1997?
A1 Father 1:13
A2 Peter 4:24
A3 I Am Glass 3:35
A4 Helsinki Angel 3:09
A5 Supermodel 3:54
A6 I Died On MTV 3:27
A7 Muse And Comfort 5:58
B1 Do I Collapse 3:29
B2 Oscar’s Bar 5:16
B3 My Ghost 3:07
B4 Lost In Soho 3:07
B5 Che Guevara’s Eyes 3:16
B6 It’s Just A Party 5:10
B7 Flower Girl 1:10

The LP got recorded but never made it beyond test pressing state once the Kalevala label project was halted by Bill and Mark. Name and length come from studio DAT tapes, according to which the album should be called Girl From Nowhere, while the official biography mentions the title Between Heaven And Helsinki. It can be assumed that both titles refer to the same album.

The album was scheduled to be re-released on Berlin label Martin Hossbach in 2020. The song It’s Just A Party actually appeared briefly on the label’s Bandcamp page in September but got pulled down again shortly thereafter. Since then it is apparently handled by a publisher from the UK, but no updates have been posted on the matter.

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