There just isn’t a season of the year where music making can’t entertain you. But once upon a time, music technology woefully confined its producers to windowless, underground lairs established as dusty academic laboratories.

No more. Now you can toss everything in a backpack, head to the Finnish countryside, and put on a barbecue while you jam. (Just don’t forget to check the grill, lest you burn something.)

And that’s what Helsinki-based artist Riku Annala – Recue – has done. The sounds of the grill crackling sharply in the background, a lazy, golden Northern Hemisphere sunlight bathing the black hulls of his gear in heat, and the occasional fly alighting on an encoder, he improvises a deliciously easy-living groove. You can almost smell the roasting meat. Watch:

Recue – Kesä from recue on Vimeo.

(Okay, his bag is a little bigger here, but I’m all for it – and you could pare down a setup if you don’t want quite so much to haul, or just want more room for foodstuffs and beer.)

This isn’t just an aimless jam, either. The track’s terrific, and the download is free (see below).

Hope your summer had been a good one! Mine certainly has, and I’ve made a little proof of it that I thought you might appreciate. I just did a summery music getaway to the Finnish countryside and made a little performance clip (plus a short narrative intro). I’ve been praising the new ultra portable stuff that fits in your backpack lately, but this one might not be the perfect example on that. I just got the MS-20 mini recently so I just had to pack that one with me (plus bunch of other stuff including chicken and an awesome marinade for it). But the point, not being the portability, was/is to get away from the regular location where you make music and find completely different kind of inspiration from a new location and setup. That actually worked really well (I also made some proper music in addition to this..) and I can only recommend trying something similar.

PS. There are some cultural references (including the sample) that might not open up to non-Finns but I think most of it is pretty universal. And I know it’s a lengthy intro, but what’s the hurry in the Summer?! 😉


Recue, by the way, is an artist well worth checking out. We’ve followed his adventures before:

A Music Rig in a Backpack, A Single Made in an Attic: Recue + Jolea “Blame”
Recue’s “Do Not Disturb”: Live Jam, Made in an Airport Hotel Room [Free Download]

He’s the perfect example of an off-the-radar artist doing some very serious work, including support from the likes of James Zabiela and our own sometimes-CDM-contributor Kid Kameleon.

Does anyone else notice that the best of the Internet live performances are easily more interesting than much of the “live” shows typically booked on festivals and the like? Pay attention, bookers. (Yes, this means sifting through some of the rest of the content, but – well, indeed, here’s Recue with a track that’s more live and heartfelt and a video that’s more professional and artful than plenty of the better-known acts out there.)

Anyway, while they figure that out, we can enjoy:

Oh, and I’m all for backpack music. I had to suffer through it as I had no controller at all (save an iPad template for Ableton), and Maschine lacks easy iOS control, but I still had a blast finishing off some grooves in the sunshine in Toledo, Spain – trackpad and Maschine and lots of glare be damned (I literally wore shades). You can watch the results, with Ilan Katin on the excellent iPad visual improvisation/sketch tool Tagtool.