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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?! ;)

recuems20mini

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:
http://www.recue.net/

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.

  • zeroreference

    Nobody comments on here these days. Where have all the typists gone?

    • p4cm4n

      can’t type with my launchpad :(

  • Mr-Morgan

    Perfect sampling. I just love it!

  • Hot Dog Activist

    I hope the hot dogs were okay back there.

  • Dkstr
  • js

    how about a guide to solar / battery power?

    I use a cyberpower 1500 UPS, which actually runs for a fair amount of time with the 4 elektron boxes. Very heavy though. A computer’s okay in terms of power too if you can turn the screen off.

  • Polite Society

    I just want to know what people are using for power out there in the wilderness. I’d love to do this myself.

    • radiokoala

      Hey, in regards to this post, I own an x-station too, and you won’t believe it but it runs on batteries hah! :) ) You just need 6 C-type cells.