If K-X-P’s music contained within proves tricky to categorise, don’t expect any help from the band. With elements of glam rock, Detroit techno, kraut rock, black metal, early electronica and much more in their minimalist music, are they an electronic band, a rock band, a punk band, a prog band, a pop band? “I kind of hope we can transcend those by-now-useless categories and become something more,” says Tuomo Puranen (bass, keyboards and the ‘P’ in the band’s name). “We’re an abstract sculpture made of sound and flesh!” “Making specific efforts in specific directions is for robots, automobiles and businessmen,” says Puranen. “Bands are at their best when they manage to get collectively lost, which can be an almost religious experience at times.”
K-X-P comprise Puranen plus Timo Kaukolampi (electronics, vocals and the ‘K’ in the band’s name), and alternating drummers Anssi Nykänen and Tomi Leppanen (the ‘X’ – for the mystery). Born from the ashes of seminal Finnish groups Op:l Bastards and And The Lefthanded, the band began with a manifesto: “K-X-P started after I wanted to stop playing in bands,” says Kaukolampi. “It’s the antidote to normal bands. Its an anti-band.”
The band’s musical background varies wildly, from the “disco-idiotism turned-into spiritual-hide-and-seek” of Op:l Bastards, via the fusion and free jazz explorations of Pekka Pohjola and Jimi Tenor, to the Kraftwerkish visions of Aavikko. Timo Kaukolampi is also perhaps better known as Norwegian pop star Annie’s main producer and co-writer.
The trio’s sound has been shaped through their thrilling live shows, which tend to be improvisational and very loud. “Live we are more like an electronic Motörhead,” says Puranen. “It’s a simple formula of high energy level and pure honesty. Plug in and play loud.” Given some of the conditions the band have played in, a simple formula is best. “Last february we played an outdoor gig in Helsinki. It was -15 degrees, I had these really thick wool gloves on and the bass was out of tune anyway,” says Puranen. “It was one of the best gigs ever, because there was no chance to do anything ‘properly’.”
With the release of their second album ‘II’ on Melodic in February 2013, the band continue to impress with their unique style of electronica, breaking the defined genres lines, pushing into the realms of innovation.