Aleksi Eeben – The Four Tales {mtk201}

Artist: Aleksi Eeben
Title:
The Four Tales
Label:
Monotonik
Catalog #:
mtk201
Release Date:
2008/04/27


We’re delighted to welcome back Finnish artist Aleksi Eeben, with the latest in his beguilingly offbeat electronic ‘numbers’ series for Monotonik, ‘The Four Tales’ – all soaring leads and strange tonal interplay.

Now, it’s possible that Eeben – who has been composing electronic music for nearly the past 20 years, initially as Amiga demo-scene legend ‘Heatbeat’, is a distinctly acquired taste, thanks to his borderline avant jazz influences.

But if first track ‘Minor Tale’ – all sweetly sliding lead and pitter-patter bass – doesn’t convert you to his way of thinking, then there’s clearly something wrong here. Later on, ‘Grand Tale’ rocks the majestic rock synth crossover, all paradiddles and strange incidentals.

Finally, there’s ‘Aspen, Maple & Pine Leaves’, which ends thing on the oddest of blooping cuteness, with some almost classicl phrasings teamed with analog synth and bells. Honestly, there’s absolutely nothing else like this out there – which is why we love Aleksi.


Credits:
pic by Aleksi Eeben


Tracklist:
01 – Minor Tale
02 – Medium Tale
03 – Grand Tale
04 – Nightingale
05 – Lost Tale
06 – Aspen, Maple And Pine Leaves

Artwork:
Front Cover

Additional Links:
[Bandcamp]


License:
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US)


Aleksi Eeben – Three Times The Music {mtk183}

Artist: Aleksi Eeben
Title:
Three Times The Music
Label:
Monotonik
Catalog #:
mtk183
Release Date:
2007/04/24


This one’s been coming for a while, but the latest release from incredibly unconventional Finnish musician Aleksi Eeben (the .MOD artist formerly known as Heatbeat) is the tremendously obtuse but lovable ‘Three Times The Music’, 8 tracks of offbeat but somewhat gorgeous bleeps and bloops.

Aleksi is, as ever, a bit of a jazz fan, and the kind of melodies and stylings he picks makes him an acquired taste, to say the least. But if you dig the odd, odd grooving of first track ‘Clockwork’, then you’re set – from there, we have just all kinds of skronk, with the trilogy coming to the end with ‘Western Movement’.

It carries on from there, though, with the beautifully understated ‘Quiet Place’ slinking up against the insanely named final track ‘To Climb A Tree Remove Branches And Reverse Gravity’. Pretty sure it makes no sense to us, and lots of sense to Aleksi, which is why he’s a true original, and someone we’re delighted to be releasing on Monotonik.

Also, there’s a short story explaining (or not!) the contents of the album, which goes as follows:

“I thought of him just every day. The little sailor boy I knew. His shirt so white, his cap so blue his trousers so straight and smart. Along he travelled, the world o’er and o’er and never would he stop. This sailor boy I knew, I knew. This sailor boy I knew.

I met him first in the park above. Way, way above. The clouds below like waves of snow. Oh, waves of snow and a boat. The sailor boy and his crew.

I held his hand and skipped along and he grinned at me with his smile so true. The sailor boy with his smart black shoes and his walk a clip, clip, clip.

Spiralling buildings we left behind as I stood upon his ship so fine. The waves of clouds of snow sublime. My sailor boy of my desire.

And on we went into the night. The owls waved up as we went by. The grounds below a running, a running. Faster we went on. Speeding along the skies we went in our sailing boat so fine. Pink and blue and green we see, how everything falls between, our journey round the world, we so liked to leave.

A ruin greets as the clouds depart. An ancient civilisation, hello! Tied to themselves we think again, of civilisation once so great. I stand beside the sailor boy and forget those long-gone souls.

He took me to the end of the world. A drop of gold and mounds of dirt. We sat in them to play all day, my sailor boy and me. Full of joy and full of games, so innocent as we were. The end of the world, they all do say, is really no fun at all, but we danced around without dismay in the pits of dirt and clay. Black smoke rose from every hole. Up and up it went, to build the world on which we must live. Just a place where everyone lives. Our weird old globe, with cities above, amongst the clouds, and sailing boats without a sail and people with nowhere else to go. And sailor boys who hold my hand, and never do run away. Who never, ever once escape and who are always mine oh mine.

With sailor boys who’re mine oh mine.

Of Contraptions and Things
by Kristoffer Lawson.”


Credits:
pic by aleksi eeben


Tracklist:
01 – Three Times The Music, Part 1: Clockwork
02 – Three Times The Music, Part 2: Ocean
03 – Three Times The Music, Part 3: Western Movement
04 – The Drive
05 – Quiet Place
06 – Traffic Lights Are Tomato, Orange And Kiwi
07 – Bright’s Polka
08 – To Climb A Tree Remove Branches And Reverse Gravity

Artwork:
Front Cover

Additional Links:
[Bandcamp]


License:
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)


Aleksi Eeben – Spaceman Far Away From Home {mtk169}

Artist: Aleksi Eeben
Title:
Spaceman Far Away From Home
Label:
Monotonik
Catalog #:
mtk169
Release Date:
2006/08/06


Seriously, what else is there to say about Finnish old-school Amiga demo scene legend Aleksi Eeben, aka Heatbeat? Way back in 1990 or so, when he was in his early teens, he produced some of the best music the Amiga has ever heard. As his talent grew throughout the ’90s and into the new century, his jazz influences and unique retro electronic background (he also codes music composition software for the Commodore 64, Game Boy and even VIC-20) have produced an unbelievably unique style.

The spectacularly tonally different stylings of Eeben, who works at a ‘famous cellphone company’ in his native Finland on sound-related products, are showcased in this album for Monotonik, ‘Avaruusmies kaukana kotoa’, aka ‘Spaceman Far Away from Home’. An early highlight is the wonderfully busy skank of ‘Spaceman’s Small Step’, or ‘Avaruusmiehen pieni askela’, but everything just glows, with ‘Avaruusmiehen alakulo’, aka ‘Spaceman’s Low’, another beautiful example of Aleksi’s differences. We end with a couple of bonus tracks, with ‘Traveller’ a particular highlight, all sinuous melodies that just range in the oddest, wonderfullest ways.

So, we’re not saying it isn’t an acquired taste, but when you acquire it, you’re likely to never forget it. And while you’re listening, you can read the accompanying story behind the album: ‘Adventures of Spaceman John’, by Kristoffer Lawson, as follows:

“Far away, John and his robot were sailing on the backs of star-beams. Fifty light-years or so in their cylindrical spaceship. Robot said he liked the way the star’s light bounced off the red planet, a giant one, on the port side. Like shimmery little fairy dances circling around their travels through the void. John smiled and lifted his glass of space-juice in an ancient gesture of comradeship. Aye, that’s life at it’s best, he reckoned.

After three more days of travel John and his robot arrived at Destination 34. A large moon around the fourth planet of the system. A jolly wee bouncy kind of rock with scampering little bacteria and small fish-like creatures swimming in the deep dark lakes. Some of them had fluorescent colours and shone brightly and merrily. Some of them were mating, some of them were jiggling, some of them were just having a party. Robot blinked his lights in response and several of the lifeforms twirled round him, curious. He did not seem like a proto-fish. He was all hard and jagged. Like a rock of some kind. John patted him. They’ll understand one day, he reassured.

Inside one of the caves was a dark slithery plant, waving slightly with the drifts, as if to a distant melody. She beckoned to the travellers and they floated to investigate, transfixed. Her many hands swayed erotically. Her deep colours changed with every move. She gently touched John’s cheek as he looked closely, with robot soon behind. He kissed her leaf-wrist and bid her good bye, for their journeys must go on.

Back in their spaceship John sighed. Robot was a good companion but still his life missed something. A home to come to. An arm to stroke. Lips to kiss. Hair to feel. Of all the wonders in the universe he had seen, no wonder would replace that simple existence. Robot shut down for the night. The computers rattled on. John looked out into the deep, deep darkness and its millions of sparkling lights. Lives. He fell asleep holding their hands as the spaceship zoomed on and on into the empty unknown.”


Tracklist:
01 – Avaruusmiehen Lyhyt Matka (Spaceman’s Little Expedition)
02 – Avaruusmiehen Pieni Askel (Spaceman’s Small Step)
03 – Avaruusmiehen Toinen Matka (Spaceman’s Second Expedition)
04 – Avaruusmies Tapaa Robotit (Spaceman Meets the Robots)
05 – Avaruusmiehen Alakulo (Spaceman’s Low)
06 – Avaruusmiehen Valisoitto (Spaceman’s Interlude)
07 – Avaruusmies Kaukana Kotoa (Spaceman Far Away from Home)
08 – Avaruusmies Palla Maahan (Spaceman Returns to Earth)
09 – Avaruusmies Ja Avaruusnaien (Spaceman and Spacewoman)
10 – Avaruusmies Tervehtii Kommodoria (Spaceman Salutes Commodore)
11 – Traveller
12 – To Climb A Tree Remove Branches And Reverse Gravity

Artwork:
Front Cover

Additional Links:
Short Story [TXT]
Tracklist [TXT]

Additional Links:
[Bandcamp]


License:
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5)


Aleksi Eeben – The White Box {mtk139}

Artist: Aleksi Eeben
Title:
The White Box
Label:
Monotonik
Catalog #:
mtk139
Release Date:
2004/12/05


Finnish old-school Amiga demo scene legend Aleksi Eeben, aka Heatbeat, has never really let up on the composition, but has, rather wonderfully, regressed in his choice of hardware over time, from Amiga, through Commodore 64, to Vic-20, with sideways glances to the Game Boy. But it’s his C64 equivalent of ‘The White Album’, the appropriately named ‘The White Box’, which sums up some of his borderline deviant SID-chip excursions over the previous few years.

The actual ‘White Box’ artifact is a Commodore 64 disc image (try emulators like CCS64 or Vice), a 32- song compilation released at the Alternative Party in Helsinki in January 2004. It includes tracks released on Eeben’s previous Monotonik releases, as well as a host of new tracks. It also comes with ‘liner notes’ by Monotonik founder Simon Carless, in the form of a surreal scrolltext to accompany each separate song – thousands of words of semi-abstracted, happily burbling weirdness. You can also download all the .SID files, if you’d prefer to listen to all 32 tracks. But the 8-track MP3 mini-album that highlights the new compositions for ‘The White Box’, all made with Aleksi’s own John Player ‘tracker’ he coded for the C64, may be your place to start.

So, we commence with ‘Ground Expansion’, all pensive and synthesizedly brassy, before the insanely funky ‘Invitation’ cuts in, and we have some serious grooving to do. Over the next few tracks, we run the gamut from bright, breezy, and perky (‘Return To Forever’), through positively tribal (‘Mnambo’), all the way up to sardonic and abstracted (‘Landscape’). Eeben’s style often seems tremendously out there – clearly jazz-influenced, melodically abstract, but capable of wonderful twists and turns. It’s obviouslythis that attracted fellow CNCD member and friend Juha ‘Dizzy’ Kujanpaa, himself another Amiga scene legend, who created his own live, real-instrument take on Aleksi’s C64 track ‘Motivation’ for a fitting finale. Now we’re motivated, too, to drool.


Credits:
pic by White Box designer


Tracklist:
01 – The All Family Stomp [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
02 – Rock’n’Roll Butterfly [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
03 – Chill [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
04 – Good Citizen’s Tango [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
05 – Force Music [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
06 – Free Fall [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
07 – The Grand Rules Intro [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
08 – The Grand Rules Part 1 [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
09 – The Grand Rules Part 2 [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
10 – The Grand Rules Part 3 [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
11 – The Grand Rules Part 4 [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
12 – Shapers [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
13 – Invitation [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
14 – Flight of the Bumblebee [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
15 – Moontimer [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
16 – Landscape [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
17 – Motivation [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
18 – Mnambo [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
19 – Onward [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
20 – Pond [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
21 – One Channel Music [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
22 – The Radio Challenge [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
23 – Sadness [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
24 – Return to Forever [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
25 – Purity [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
26 – Round Blue Rath [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
27 – Water Music [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
28 – Randomizer [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
29 – Music for Computers [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
30 – Radiator [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
31 – Ground Expansion [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
32 – 75% Sale Rea (Buy More Remix) [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]

MP3 Higlights:
01 – Ground Expansion
02 – Invitation
03 – Return to Forever
04 – Round Blue Rath
05 – The Radio Challenge
06 – Mnambo
07 – Landscape
08 – Motivation (Juha Kujanpaa Mix)

Artwork:
Front Cover

Additonal Files:
thewhitebox [D64]
Liner Notes [PDF]

*FLAC & MP3 zips also include the original versions.


License:
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Aleksi Eeben – The Grand Rules {mtk090}

Artist: Aleksi Eeben
Title:
The Grand Rules
Label:
Monotonik
Catalog #:
mtk090
Release Date:
2002/09/30


Fresh from pretty much cleaning up in the oldskool competitions at the Assembly ’02 demo-party in Helsinki, Finland, in July (well, 3rd in oldskool music, 3rd in oldskool demo, 2nd in oldskool graphics utilising classic machines like the Commodore 64, Vic20, and Gameboy, you get the idea..), the prodigously talented Aleksi ‘Heatbeat’ Eeben, formerly an Amiga demo-scene legend as part of CNCD, has used his own JohnPlayer ‘tracker’ for C64 to produce this new opus, over eleven minutes of, well.. would it be wrong to call it a heavy metal-orientated bleep symphony?

That’s certainly somewhere around where “The Grand Rules” is orientated, and it’s pretty amazing to consider that the entire piece was composed on a 20-year old home computer with 64k of memory and just five and a quarter inch discs (if you’re lucky!) to keep you company. So, from the first delicate introduction, through the gut-wrenching bass and drum solos, through the almost pizzicato middle section, right up to the triumphant density of the final coda, it’s not only the musicality, but the breadth of sound that astounds.

Sure, it may not be to everyone’s tastes, but a “Good Vibrations” for the C64 in terms of unheard sounds and clarity of vision? Put it this way, Aleksi can come and play in our sandbox any time he wants, with or without the fireman’s hat.


Credits:
cover by aleksi eeben


Tracklist:
01 – The Grand Rules

Artwork:
Front Cover


License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial 1.0 Generic (CC BY-ND-NC 1.0)


Aleksi Eeben – Music Box {mtk078}

Artist: Aleksi Eeben
Title:
Music Box
Label:
Monotonik
Catalog #:
mtk078
Release Date:
2002/05/05


After releasing a pseudonymous EP from Finland’s Aleksi Eeben a few months ago, we kept an eye on his work further, only to discover the _amazing_ Commodore 64 work he’s been doing with his self-coded John Player, which brings a ‘tracker’-style interface to bear on the C64. And if you’re wondering who this Aleksi fellow is and where he came from – well, as Heatbeat of the infamous CNCD, he was regularly voted one of the best ever Amiga .MOD composers back in the early ’90s.

So, given a few years, and a platform move _backwards_ this time round, heh, Aleksi’s work just keeps getting better. This collection of .SIDs, 18 in all, plus a ‘best-of’ selection of 7 .MP3 conversions, were specially ripped for Monotonik from the Commodore 64 “Music Box” music-disc series which have been released over the past 3 or 4 months, and which would otherwise be far too obscure for anyone’s good.

In any case, grab the .SIDs for the full picture, but if you want to delve into the .MP3s as a start point, try the insane catchiness of “75% Sale”, the messed-up c64 d+b of “Flight Of The Bumblebee”, or the superclever- ness of “The All-Family Stomp”. But, believe us, it’s all good.


Credits:
cover by h0l!


Tracklist:
01 – 75% Sale Rea (Buy More Remix) [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
02 – Ambient Music [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
03 – Arabia [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
04 – Fire Fighter [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
05 – Flight Of The Bumblebee [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
06 – Force Music [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
07 – Free Fall [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
08 – Friendly Robots [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
09 – Good Citizen’s Tango [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
10 – Ground Expansion [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
11 – Kopa Korv [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
12 – Moontimer [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
13 – Music For Computers [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
14 – One Channel Music [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
15 – Return To Forever [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
16 – Rock’n’Roll Butterfly [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
17 – Sadness [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]
18 – The All Family Stomp [SID] [FLAC] [MP3]

MP3 Higlights:
01 – 75% Sale Rea (Buy More Remix)
02 – Good Citizen’s Tango
03 – Flight Of The Bumblebee
04 – The All Family Stomp
05 – Rock’n’Roll Butterfly
06 – Free Fall
07 – Sadness

Artwork:
Front Cover

*FLAC & MP3 zips also include the original versions.


License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial 1.0 Generic (CC BY-ND-NC 1.0)