Experimental music pick'n' mix...
Ones To Watch: K-X-P

K-X-P could be an acronym for a Russian terrorist organisation, an algebraic equation, or a piece of specialist audio equipment.

But it is none of these things. It is in in fact the moniker employed by Finnish drums, bass and synth trio K-X-P to describe their recent musical endeavours. The idea behind their name is quite simple: take two initials and a seldom present drummer (‘X’) and you’ve got K-X-P. But their sound, in comparison, is far more complex than this.

Making Krautrock soundscapes born from a Martin Rev/Jason Pierce inspired dystopian nightmare, the trio are a hotchpotch of industrial noise, spacey electronics, and ghostly vocals, who flit somewhere between Silver Apples, Suicide, Eine Kleine Nacht Musik and Neu!, making harrowing sounds confined to dark basements and dank cellars. Vocalist Timo Kaukolampi agrees: “It’s definitely underground and underwater music, it sounds like you’re in a submarine, I guess.”

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Indeed this trio are pretty subversive in their way of thinking and are even keen to eradicate any sort of personality from the group’s aesthetic. “We were thinking about what it means to be a lead vocalist a lot,” says Timo. “We wanted to have the vocals present but not have them as prominent as they would be with a lead singer. I wasn’t thinking in a democratic way but just that I want this record to be somehow free of a main vocalist and accompanying egos. We wanted to take the ego away from the vocals so they are less defined.” With this is mind, it may be easier to think of K-X-P more as an abstract sonic entity rather than as a conventional band with clearly defined roles.

Timo continues: “The energy of this band is like creating something entirely different, like making a fourth person or another dimension. It’s very strange, I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before. It’s so violent and aggressive, but also very inspiring at the same time and so you don’t feel afraid at all.”

Aside from the occasional Throbbing Gristle style violation, there is something very uplifting about K-X-P, a band who until have now chosen to remain hidden in the shadows of obscurity, furtively brewing a concoction of experimental sounds in their Helsinki studio. Thankfully for us, they are finally ready to unleash these on the world.

According to Timo, you have to see K-X-P live to understand the whole thing. And with occasional backing vocals from Norwegian songstress Annie, rotating drummers (one who happens to be prolific Finnish session musician), this strange bag of progressive rockers, disco divas, old school ravers and free jazz enthusiasts and their experimental musical pick ‘n’ mix will surely be tantalising audiences in the not too distant future.

Words by April Welsh

Where? Helsinki
What? Experimental synthpop
Unique Fact: Timo was previously in seminal Finnish band Op:l Bastards
Get 3 songs: ‘Mehu Moments’, ‘Pockets’, ‘18 Hours (Of Love)’


Clash Magazine Issue 52

This article appears in the 52nd issue of Clash Magazine. Pick it up in stores from July 1st.

Find out more about the issue HERE. Subscribe to Clash Magazine HERE.



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