Is that a cloud of volcanic ash we see below?

HELSINKI electro pop duo TV OFF have been steadily gaining momentum with frequent live appearances, some buzz-worthy digital singles, performances as far out as London and Tokyo, and their own monthly club night, but coming up with an album release has taken its sweet time. Their debut LP The Music Machine is finally out on 12 May.

”We started working on it about 2.5 years ago, but we set out with the notion that we want to do it right the first time,” says the duo’s male half Markku. ”It was part meticulousness and part healthy perfectionism.”

TV OFF was born of an accidental encounter between Markku and the band’s colourful and effervescent singer Sara. Introduced by a mutual friend, the two soon found they had a common interest in making pop music. A week later they were already in the studio creating their first track, Giraffe, which ended up on the album as well.

The pairing of a female singer and a shady production wizard is a pop music cliché, but TV OFF does everything, including the music, 100 per cent together, Markku points out. Sara has played the violin since childhood and Markku is an old hand in electronic music, but they both now concentrate primarily on TV OFF. ”It was too good to be just another ’project’.”

TV OFF: Music Machine

Finnish electro-pop duo TV OFF can let out a sigh of relief. Their first album sounds everything but the beginning of a promising career in the music business. It resonates the hum of an established, self-assured group that has the courage to try out different things with confidence ­ – and succeed with it. The album is jam packed with energetic tracks that set your feet tapping and your hip shaking. A personal favourite is Pillows & Shortcake with its quirky lyrics and bouncy beat. This cheerful album is a perfect addition to the soundtrack of the summer to come. (Released 12 May)

Petra Nyman

The duo’s monthly Eels in My Pants club nights will also return at the end of May in Helsinki, and plans are in motion to take the concept overseas at the end of summer.

”Exporting Finnish electronic music has been one of the founding ideas there. We’ll definitely bring it up in our DJ sets, but if the opportunity presents itself it would be nice to take some Finnish artists along for live shows as well.”

While the second wave of Finnish rock export hopefuls have been something of a letdown after trailblazers like HIM and Children of Bodom, perhaps more attention should be paid to the bubbling electronic and indie scenes.

”I’m quite certain that’s where the next big successes are going to come from. There’s a great vibe, people are working together and there’s a lot of activity,” Markku enthuses.

No stranger to touring abroad, has TV OFF benefited from music export promotion?

”Yeah, we’ve done shows with promotion funds,” says Markku. ”It’s really positive that we’re seeing some support for this genre of music too.”

Matti Koskinen
Eerikki Pokela