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Let's talk a Finnish icon: The Ismo Alanko primer

2020.09.19 17:52 creatinsanivity Let's talk a Finnish icon: The Ismo Alanko primer

I was challenged into writing a primer on one of Finland's primary songwriters of all time by u/Zhanteimi at the LetsTalkMusic discord. So here's an album-by-album runthrough of his career!
No artist's career begins with the first album, so naturally nor did Alanko's. Long story short, he was born in a highly artistic family (mother a poet, all siblings musicians), picked cello as his instrument of choice, found rock (especially the Hurriganes debut) and picked a guitar, wrote his first song 'Suck and Fuck All Night Long' (no recordings of this exist, but apparently one of his bands named itself after the song), and formed a number of bands with varying levels of success. His most succesful pre-Hassisen Kone band was a prog band called Sight, which got on the second place in the prog section of Finnish Rock Championship competition (in 1977 or 1978). After he finished high school in the spring of 1979, he moved to Stockholm for the summer. This turned out to be the decision that became the catalyst for huge parts of his career, including...
Hassisen Kone - Täältä tullaan Venäjä
While in Stockholm, Alanko caught wind of a new wave of rock beginning in Finland. A breath of fresh air in the previously stale rock scene. He returned to Joensuu and put together a band from his bandmates from Sight (Reijo Heiskanen and Harri Kinnunen), and Harri's then 17-year-old brother Jussi. They eventually named the band Hassisen Kone, after a sewing machine store in town (the deeply religious shopkeeper was not amused).
The band recorded an album-length demo in 1979 and were signed on a label relatively quickly. They were also qualified to enter the 1980 Finnish Rock Championship competition (even though the judges nearly disqualified them, for they thought they might be professional musicians performing under fake names), which they won, gaining reputation preceding the recording of their debut album.
In August of 1980, the band released Täältä tullaan Venäjä. Propelled by arguably the biggest hit single in Alanko's career, Rappiolla [which was hilariously covered by Metallica recently (which was spontaneously responded to by Ismo Alanko himself)], the album became a smash hit. The album provides variety from straight-up new wave punk to talkingheadsian grooves, schlager punk, simplified swing jazz, ska-infused rock, to whatever you'd categorise 'Viimeinen rock ennen aivokuolemaa' as. It's an ambitious yet consistent whole but, in my opinion, the weakest of the three Hassisen Kone albums. The youthful anarchic feel it has can be refreshing every now and then, but this burst of energy from an obviously young (only two of the bandmembers even in their 20s, band only half a year old) band is redirected better on the follow-up.
Hassisen Kone - Rumat sävelet
Following the release of their debut, the band found themselves in a position that many acts today would both fear and envy: they played hundreds of gigs in the second half of 1980 and the first half of 1981. The gruesome touring around the country took a toll on the young band, but that's only barely comparable to the toll that the audience took on them. For example, as time went by, the band grew tired of the audience drunkenly demanding 'Rappiolla', so they stopped playing the song altogether. This time of maturing and growing more and more cynical reflected on their sophomore effort.
Rumat sävelet should not necessarily be described as bleak per se, but it is certainly darker, tighter, and more mature than the band's debut. The band tackles sounds ranging from quasi-prog expression to post-punk, punk, psychobilly, and they take the talkingheadsian qualities into a sharper direction. The lyrics touch upon issues like love, exploitation, and sex (it's curious to think that probably the most explicit Finnish song about sex before this album was about "curly armpit hair", while Alanko dares to sing about penetration itself). I have to admit that I have a bit of a bias when it comes to this one though, as it's undoubtedly my favourite album of all time.
Hassisen Kone - Harsoinen teräs (and High Tension Wire)
In 1981, the band participated on a riverboat tour with a couple of other punk acts. During this tour, the bassist broke (drugs), Alanko met "Safka" Pekkonen, and the band was generally put under huge stress as the diet consisting mainly of alcohol began burning them down and their every move was documented by either film makers Mika and Aki Kaurismäki or the columnist documenting the tour for a zine. Despite all this, some of the better live recordings of the band come from this tour, and both the live album and the Kaurismäki documentary are worth digging up for the music.
After the tour, the band expanded into a septet with the addition of a keyboardist (Pekkonen), a saxophonist (Antti Seppo), and a percussionist (Hannu Porkka). The final form of the band was shaped during the rehearsals by the departure of guitarist Heiskanen, who was replaced by the guitar wizard Jukka Orma.
Released in March of 1982, Harsoinen teräs is the band's most artistically ambitious work. It's an album combining the band's prog leanings seamlessly with the band's new wave leanings, a polished whole that takes cues from I don't even know where. Reggae at least on a couple of tracks, prog and new wave on most, but the general sound is unlike anything I've ever encountered. The album was re-recorded in English as High Tension Wire later on in the year, after a tour had slightly tightened the band's sound. The decision to do so apparently came after the decision to disband the band, which makes it a very baffling addition to Hassisen Kone's discography. You'd think that they'd release an album in English as an attempt to break into international markets, right?
Sielun Veljet - Sielun Veljet
After Hassisen Kone was disbanded (in August 1982), Alanko had a schlager rock project that eventually turned into Sielun Veljet by December. The band was comprised of Alanko, Orma, a drummer veteran Alf Forsman, Alanko's Stockholm contact Jouko Hohko on bass, Vinski Viholainen doing lighting, and a future cult legend Jouni Mömmö doing "weird noises".
Sielun Veljet were signed in early 1983, but they refused to record a studio album because Viholainen's lighting work wouldn't show in a studio recording. Instead, as a compromise, they agreed on recording a live album where "the lighting would affect the ambiance". They set out to do this on a tour they began on March, planning on recording the first show and the last one. However, fate interfered and Orma accidentally cut tendons from his fingers during the tour while cutting bread, which made the recordings from the last show basically unusable due to his difficulties in adjusting to the situation (a very punk move to finish the tour even with torn tendons, by the way).
The live album is punk/post-punk goodness. It's noisy, no-wavey rock that really shows how the band took all the drugs in the process of writing these harsh, repetitive songs. It also shows that Alanko wished to abandon messing around with intricate compositions in favour of a more stripped and primal expression.
Sielun Veljet - Lapset
In summer of 1983, the band brightened up a bit to record this odd EP in a style following directly from the debut. It's angular and distorted, yet the melodies are more melodic and jamming less bleak. It's also the home of the only a capella punk song I've ever heard.
Sielun Veljet - Hei soturit
In 1984, Sielun Veljet took their first coherent step toward a pop/rock idiom with their first studio album. Hei soturit is the awkward outlier between the band's grimy punk era and commercial rock era. It feels like a punk band working with a producer who doesn't understand punk, but even the clumsy production doesn't entirely hide the fact that some of these songs are absolutely iconic. From punk to garage rock, general oddness, and flirting even with metal, this selection of songs does provide good variety for anyone digging deeper in Alanko's body of work.
Sielun Veljet - L'amourha
The Sielun Veljet breakthrough album! The beginning of their rock era of albums, an only mildly angular affair with anthemic choruses and a muscular production. It was recorded after the band had toured all over Europe, honing their sound and Alanko finding a lot to say about international affairs and the human condition.
There are a plenty of anecdotes from the time of release of this album. The song 'On mulla unelma' was written by Alanko in Spain, when he was recovering from a disease (can't remember which one. Dysentery?) and bitter about nationalism, and it caused quite a scandal when the band unexpectedly debuted it on live television. They performed an impromptu Red Riding Hood play on their album release party instead of playing music. One of the members went missing in Russia for days after the band found a corpse. All of their instruments were stolen in Spain. There'd a lot to unpack from 1984-5 alone.
Sielun Veljet - Kuka teki huorin
The follow-up to L'amourha takes the band to a funkier place. It's a minor downgrade from the previous effort, a slightly directionless and overpolished effort that has diverse variety from RHCP-like funk rock to tango-infused rock, tribal chants, and what's essentially watered down imitation of their earlier work. It's an easy album to criticise, yet I don't find ever to be outright bad. A lot of it is extremely forgettable though
L'amourder - Ritual and Shit-Hot
Sielun Veljet recorded a bunch of their songs in English as L'amourder. Most of them follow the originals very closely, but there are a few surprises. The biggest change is on the translation of 'Tuulelta vastauksen saan', which has been turned into a cover of Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' in the Wind'.
Sielun Veljet - Suomi - Finland
Suomi - Finland begins the last era of the band, as this album brings more acoustic instruments to the mix and begins to flirt with psychedelia in a way that will culminate on the follow-up. It feels like a breaking point for the band, as it sprawls on multiple directions at once, the musicians seemingly having lost focus. It feels like a band slowly drifring apart, yet it remains consistently captivating as the different influences come together in this chaotic work.
"Various Artists" - Onnenpyörä
Sielun Veljet performed under a number of false identities on their Onnenpyörä-tour, four of which make an appearance on this recording. All of these are cover bands of sorts, and each one of them had a different repertoire of songs they played on these wildly differing sets. The most noteworthy of these personae are the pavillion dance band Kullervo Kivi ja Gehenna-yhtye and the rock band Leputation of the Slaves, the two having the most songs on the record.
Sielun Veljet - Softwood Music Under Slow Pillars
Who would have thought that the noisy punk band in 1983 would eventually release what could be called a psychedelic flamenco album in 1989? Many factors come together here, as the band continues on their effort to sell their music internationally by making the biggest left turn in memory. Orma's fascination with flamenco combines here with influences Alanko picked up in India and what could be called a somewhat logical progression from the budding psychedelia of Suomi - Finland. It's a weird album, that's for sure. A bit inconsistent, but easily among the strangest albums I've ever heard.
Ismo Alanko - Kun Suomi putos puusta
In 1990, Alanko found himself in a situation where Sielun Veljet had almost run its course and he could finally start building a solo career. He recorded this solo debut as a quasi-concept album about rural flight, combining the various interest he wasn't able to pursue with the band into a unique singesongwriter album of sorts. It's a classic album and, in some ways, an ideal entry point into Alanko's work as it feels like it's his personal expression in its purest form.
The music on the album sounds mainly like pop rock of sorts, but it also takes cues from melancholic singesongwriter stuff, joyous showtunes, post-punk akin to Nick Cave's work, and some field recording experiments. It finds a good balance between artistic ambition and catchiness, and it's home to some of the most iconic tracks in Ismo Alanko songbook.
Sielun Veljet - Musta laatikko
Do you know Tom Waits' Orphans? This one is kind of like that. Three discs filled with random stuff recorded over years.
The first disc, "Muistinmenetys", is one third a new studio album (very weird new direction to take, something that feels like a cross between chill hippie jamming and 80s dance pop), one third music from some production, and one third short excerpts from live performances. The second disc, "Taudinkuva", is mainly live performances of late 80s Sielun Veljet songs, Tuomari Nurmio covers, and some other oddities. And finally, the third disc, "Isältä pojalle", is a full pavillion dance set, the band LARPing as a suave and jazzy house band playing waltz, tango, schlager, and anything that's really expected of them.
This album is definitely a skippable one, but there are a few gems that an Ismo Alanko fan might get a lot out of. The flamenco pieces are cool, the Tuomari Nurmio covers are nice (more about those later), and that pavillion dance set is unexpectedly fun, especially if you're not already familiar with the tradition.
Ismo Alanko - Jäätyneitä lauluja
Alanko goes electronic! This album was originally lauded as cutting edge and a sign of significant artistic growth, but it has definitely fallen in popularity over the years. It sounds extremely like a product of its time, so if you like non-industrial synthpop-y rock from 90s, this is exactly your thing. Overall, it's still very surprising how many Alanko live staples come from this album though, and how some of his live bands have improved on all of them.
Ismo Alanko - Taiteilijaelämää
If someone doesn't think that Kun Suomi putos puusta is Alanko's magnum opus, they usually pick this one. Taiteilijaelämää feels like a combination of the first two solo albums (acoustic, electric, and electronic joining hands in harmony), but brought into the mid-90s rock idiom. The result is an interesting album that lacks real highs but remains consistently accessible, and the one Ismo Alanko work I've heard to have resonated with Beck fans for some reason.
Ismo Alanko - I-r-t-i
I made the mistake of learning that this album was written in only two weeks (because Alanko wanted to test himself), and now that's all I can think of while listening to it. This does feel halfbaked. The accessible rock sound it has is underproduced and covers up lazy songwriting more than once. That said, Alanko has later on proven that some of these songs can be absolutely amazing live, and the demo-like quality many of these tracks have can be seen as a feature instead of a bug. Pushing its flaws aside, I feel that it is underappreciated as an album, and feel like its high points deserve more attention.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Pulu
Säätiö was an interesting group. I'm honestly still a bit unclear whether they should be considered Alanko's backing band, a band that just happened to capitalise on his name, or a fullblown collective of musicians. Alanko's statements concerning the group together with the changing lineups on Säätiö albums both point to all three options. What I do know is that the band has two distinct eras, the first one kickstarted by Pulu.
I genuinely believe that the first iterarion of Säätiö is the most important band Alanko worked with. The amount of pure talent in that band is staggering with Jussi Kinnunen (Hassisen Kone) on bass, Teho Majamäki (HC Andersen, Tapani Rinne, Ismo Alanko Teholla) on percussion, Kimmo Pohjonen (you will want to check his solo stuff) on accordion, and Marko Timonen (Värttinä, Tuomari Nurmio) on drums giving Alanko's songwriting a fascinating folk rock spin, reeking of schlager and eastern mysticism. Pulu is an album that seeps nostalgia, is radical enough to upset traditional folk nerds, is accessible enough to have produced multiple Alanko live staples, and is significant enough a twist on Alanko's tropes to sound fresh even in his eclectic body of work. Yet, I feel like it's so self-referential that I feel like recommending it as anyone's first Ismo Alanko album could be a mistake.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Luonnossa
Säätiö playing acoustic renditions from the entire Ismo Alanko songbook, from Täältä tullaan Venäjä to Pulu. An exciting set, and definitely one of the best live albums I've ever heard. The band reworks this wide variety of songs into captivating folk rock, transforming the music into forms that defy expectations. There are some duds though, but not all fan favourites can sound great with just one band.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Sisäinen solarium
This is possibly the weirdest Ismo Alanko album to this date. It continues with nearly the same lineup as on Pulu, but takes the music in a radically new direction, exploring what modernised folk could be rather than wallowing on nostalgia. This means updating the largely acoustic instrumentation with both electric and electronic instruments, and creating an unpredictable tapestry of music with influences that are surprisingly difficult to pinpoint. Some say this kind of experimentation cheapens traditional folk (which is something I can agree with regarding some songs on this album), but I'm not sure if such a clearcut statement can be made of the full album. It's certainly aiming for a sound of its own.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Hallanvaara
This is where Säätiö's status as a band becomes complicated. There's absolutely no reason to call this anything but an Ismo Alanko solo album, so marketing it as an Ismo Alanko Säätiö album is baffling to say the least. I mean, the only constants on this album are Alanko himself, the producemulti-instrumentalist Riku Mattila, and various symphonic elements (I don't want to downplay the work the symphonic orchestra and the string section do on this album, but they have been used quite haphazardly). There are three members from the previous Säätiö albums involved in this project: Marko Timonen on nine tracks, Samuli Laiho on seven tracks, and Kimmo Pohjonen on one track. In addition to this, there's the bassist of the next iteration of Säätiö, Jarno Karjalainen, on six tracks. Thus, there are Säätiö band members playing on the majority of these tracks, but never as a full band.
That all being said, I believe this to be the best Säätiö album. The melancholic pieces are beautifully fragile, the pop tracks are catchy, the massive songs are massive, and the atmospheric pieces are chillingly well-arranged. And even the weaker songs here are excellent live, making this album probably the richest one to mine for a live set of any kind.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Elävää musiikkia
Honestly, this feels like a bit of a throwaway live album. On one hand, these rock renditions of a great setlist of songs are unique but, on the other hand, none of these performances improve on the studio recordings. 'Kansallispäivä' and 'Julkinen eläin' come really close though, both being sharper and meaner than the 80s versions.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Minä ja pojat
The first album with the second iteration of the band. Fuzzy rock in similar vein to Smashing Pumpkins and their kin, but played through the lense of Alanko's style of songwriting. It's never as hard-hitting or catchy as an album by a great rock band would be -- all of the songs soften up during the chorus -- but the youthful and slightly naivistic touch is welcome after a string of artistically ambitious albums. That said, I'm only attached to a single song on the whole album, which is definitely not a good sign.
Ismo Alanko Säätiö - Ruuhkainen taivas
The second (and last) studio album of the second iteration of Säätiö is a different beast than the first one, taking the rock approach to a slightly more complex direction. It's more mature and chromatic than the first album, yet I personally find it to sound slightly less inspired. However, at the same time, it does have more tracks that I would consider keepers and the general sound is harder to define. Thus, it's definitely a divisive album, conflicting.
I'm not sure how to describe the sound of this album. It's unmistakeably early 2000s rock, sounding like an average Finnish rock band from the era, yet the songwriting and the production also remind me of the band Wire out of all things. It's a digestible alternative/indie rock sound, whenever it doesn't abruptly go in a new direction.
Sielun Veljet - Otteita Tuomari Nurmion laulukirjasta
Remember those random Tuomari Nurmio covers on Musta Laatikko? Turns out, Sielun Veljet recorded a full album of those in (I assume) late 80s. They didn't end up using those recordings for anything, so they were packed away and stored somewhere. Years went by and a good portion of those recordings were destroyed due to poor storing conditions, but someone was eventually inspired to put the surviving songs to good use.
You'll be in for a treat, if you like Sielun Veljet and have never heard anything by Tuomari Nurmio. Most of these covers are originally from Nurmio's early 80s albums, his strange new wave turned into the angular rock Sielun Veljet perfected. Some of these songs only barely work, some sound like Sielun Veljet originals, but most are just serviceable covers. It's still a good album though.
Ismo Alanko Teholla - Blanco spirituals
After putting Säätiö on hold (perhaps indefinitely), Alanko joined forces with Teho Majamäki, the first iteration Säätiö percussionist. Together they stripped down a number of Ismo Alanko songbook staples to a form they could perform as a duo, essentially bringing the strengths of Alanko's live performances alone together with the strengths of him performing with a small ensemble. This endeavour proved succesful, so the two recorded two albums of original music as well.
The music of Blanco spirituals is surprisingly full. The two musicians fill space well, with Alanko singing and playing chord instruments (mainly guitar and piano), while Majamäki stretches himself as thin as possible, working a drumset, vibes, an array of percussions, an oscillating delay pedal, and singing backing vocals. It's usually at least two of those at the same time, often three. Him working in a live environment is a sight to behold.
This is honestly one of my favourite Ismo Alanko albums. The stripped down arrangements bring the most out of Alanko's songwriting. The selection of songs highlight very different sides of his style, from theatrical piano ballads to singalong acoustic guitar romps, silly pop songs, and trance-inducing rock. It's by no means a perfect album, but these simple songs all work in one way or another.
Sielun Veljet - Kansan parissa (1-4)
Archival live recordings of sets recorded around 1989-1991. The first one is a typical Sielun Veljet set, the second one filled with Tuomari Nurmio covers, the third one is material from Softwood Music Under Slow Pillars, and the fourth one is a mix of subtle experimentation, new tracks, and deep cuts. Quite a comprehensive collection of live music. However, only few tracks are really worth keeping, including the electrifying high-tempo performance of 'Lammassusi' and the prototypical version of Alanko's 'Don Quiote'.
Ismo Alanko Teholla - Onnellisuus
The simplicity of the previous album is gone, replaced by a polished and highly produced pop sound. The DIY duo sound gives way to a more layered style, where synths, samples, and doubled vocals are added to the band's sound. Acoustic instruments are largely replaced by electric guitars and synths, turning the folksy garage band sound to a sleak and radio-friendly beast. If the fact that I just phrased the same exact thing in three ways didn't clue you in yet, I'm not particularly fond of this change of direction. However, I've seen this ridiculously often called the best Ismo Alanko album since the 90s, so it does appeal to the masses.
If you like 2010s pop and are looking for a decent gateway to Alanko's music, this could be the album to start with. It's accessible.
Hassisen Kone - 20 vuotta myöhemmin
Hassisen Kone had a reunion in 2000. They played a show that was both filmed and recorded. It's an interesting document of musicians playing music they wrote 20 years earlier. However, it ultimately sounds a bit tired compared to both the tight playing on their studio recordings and the energy levels on their 80s live recordings.
Ismo Alanko - Maailmanlopun sushibaari
Remember when I said that most pick between Kun Suomi putos puusta and Taiteilijaelämää as Alanko's magnum opus? Well, this is that one for me. I'm not saying that to imply that it would be his best album, but it's the album where he finally brings his disparate influences together in a coherent but eclectic way. If Kun Suomi putos puusta is where Alanko's artistic voice is at its purest, this is where it is at its maturest and most representative of the multi-faceted artist he has become during his career.
More or less incidentally, this is also Alanko's midlife crisis album. It's not entirely thematic -- who even knows what 'Kuusilmä' is about? -- but it does touch upon themes like growing old, dying, passing the torch, losing one's touch, and liking the colour grey. It's not quite on the nose, but you don't exactly have to dissect the lyrics to find those undercurrents.
So what does the album sound like? It's lighter than you'd imagine based on the central themes. There's rock, funk, subtle latin feel, a capella, pop, traditional folk, and even an ambitious rock opera about what sounds like a zombie apocalypse. It's fairly eclectic, making it a nice first solo album to release in nearly two decades.
Ismo Alanko - 33 1/3: Kolmannesvuosisata taiteilijaelämää
This is the Ismo Alanko live album I recommend people to start with. Are these performances as exciting as their studio versions? No. But I'd argue that they don't have to be. The main strength this recording has is its uniformity. The songs are played in a generic rock band style, but it doesn't change the fact that the setlist is good and diverse. There's no compilation that would dive this deep in such a digestible manner. Essentially, this is the middle-of-the-road pick that gives an excellent cursory look into a prolific artist's entire body of work (up until 2013).
Ismo Alanko - Ismo Kullervo Alanko
Considering how introspective and self-reflective the previous album is, it's surprising that Alanko decided to name this one after himself. It works though. The songs are produced sparser and airier than on any other Ismo Alanko album, making the music feel intimate and almost confessional. It feels like you're sitting in the same room with him, as he opens up to you. Amazingly produced album.
Ismo Alanko - Pannaanko pakasteet pieneen pussiin?
To be frank, I don't think this EP is an essential release. It's noteworthy for the modern hobo blues feel it has, and for having one of the very few covers Alanko has recorded so far, but none of these songs have an iconic feel to them. The best I can say about it is that none of the songs are bad, but neither are they memorable.
Ismo Alanko - Yksin Vanhalla
I wish more band-focused artists performed live alone every now and then. An arrangement stripped down to just vocals and an instrument (in Alanko's case, usually acoustic guitar, piano, or cello) turns every song into something entirely different. However, the lyrics grow in significance as instruments are dropped, so your mileage may vary with this one. I still enjoy it though.
Pohjonen Alanko - Northern Lowland
Alanko collaborates with Kimmo Pohjonen and Tuomas Norvio to bring us an electronic neon-shamanic album. Primal chants and vocalisations blending together with beats ranging from harsh to chill and breakbeat-y. It's a fascinating EP, even if highly gimmicky and lacking a sense of direction. Besides, this stuff will always be better live than on a studio recording.
Ismo Alanko - Minä halusin olla niin kuin Beethoven
And finally, the latest Ismo Alanko album, where he takes yet another left turn. This one was mainly recorded by Alanko alone in a studio, but eventually a drummer and a keyboardist were brought in to round up the sound. And what a sound it is! Youthful indie rock with a production that's stuck somewhere between the 00s and the 80s. If it were not for 58-year-old Alanko's vocals and eccentric riffing, I could very well believe this to be a debut album by ambitious 20-somethings.
Since Alanko's full albums are not readily available on many countries (especially the US), I'll provide a summary that's somewhere between a longish TL;DR, a series of recommendations, and a quick-glance overview of his career.
Album:: Täältä tullaan Venäjä (1980) [new wave punk] Representative track: Rock ehkäisyvälineitä vastaan (a bouncy high-tempo punk track)
Album: Rumat sävelet (1981) [new wave/post-punk] Representative track: Jurot nuorisojulkkikset (a gloomy post-punk-infused rock track)
Album: Harsoinen teräs (1982) [new wave/progressive rock] Representative track: Kupla kimaltaa (a well-flowing new wave track with a progressive song structure)
Album: Sielun Veljet (1983) [punk/post-punk] Representative track: Pieni pää (a noisy punk track with groovy tribal drumming and metallic guitar playing)
Album: Lapset (1983) [punk/post-punk] Representative track: Elintaso (an angular punk track)
Album: Hei soturit (1984) [post-punk/alternative rock] Representative track: Tää on tää (a straightforward punk track with a catchy hook)
Album: L'amourha (1985) [post-punk/hard rock] Representative track: Peltirumpu (a hard-hitting rock song with dissonant guitars)
Album: Kuka teki huorin (1986) [post-punk/funk rock] Representative track: Kristallilapsia (a funk rock track with screechy guitars and an unfunky bassline)
Album: Suomi - Finland (1988) [post-punk/psychedelic rock] Representative track: Totuus vai tequila (a ferocious folk punk track)
Album: Softwood Music Under Slow Pillars (1989) [psychedelic rock/flamenco] Representative track: Life is a Cobra (a psychedelic track combining flamenco rhythms and Indian string sections)
Album: Kun Suomi putos puusta (1990) [singesongwriter] Representative track: Kun Suomi putos puusta (a gentle organ-led track with subtle folk influence and field recordings)
Album: Jäätyneitä lauluja (1993) [electronic rock] Representative track: Pornografiaa (a slightly industrial-tinged electronic rock track)
Album: Taiteilijaelämää (1995) [art rock] Representative track: Nuorena syntynyt (a 90s sounding rock track with a freeform looseness to it)
Album: I-r-t-i (1996) [alternative rock] Representative track: Kriisistä kriisiin (a rock track with a steady dance pulse on the actual rock sections)
Album: Pulu (1998) [folk rock/art rock] Representative track: Rakkaus on ruma sana (a track with pseudo-shamanistic verses and catchy choruses)
Album: Sisäinen solarium (2000) (art pop/folk rock) Representative track: Kirskainen hyvätyinen (a largely electronic and pulsing track that feels one part a strange rock experiment and one part a traditional Finnish folk song)
Album: Hallanvaara (2002) (art pop/symphonic rock) Representative track: Paratiisin puu (a smooth pop track with significant classical influence)
Album: Minä ja pojat (2004) [alternative rock] Representative track: Joensuu (a straightforward and fuzzy rock song)
Album: Ruuhkainen taivas (2006) [alternative rock) Representative track: Paskiainen (a rock track alternating between manic psychobilly and catchy radio rock)
Album: Blanco spirituals (2008) [minimalistic art pop] Representative track: Päästänkö irti (an acoustic rock track with an interesting chord sequence)
Album: Onnellisuus (2010) [art pop] Representative track: Onnellisuus (a danceable and atmospheric pop track)
Album: Maailmanlopun sushibaari (2013) [alternative rock] Representative track: Vanha nuori (an accessible pop track with a funky brass section and theatrical choruses)
Album: Ismo Kullervo Alanko (2015) [art pop/singesongwriter] Representative track: Lintuperspektiivi (a melancholic and sparsely produced track with airy ambience)
Album: Northern Lowland (2018) [glitch hop-y tribal electronic music] Representative track: Northern Lowland (a track with primal chanting and glitchy beats)
Album: Minä halusin olla niin kuin Beethoven (2019) [80s flavour indie rock] Representative track: Transsioletettu tanssi (a funky rock track with a somewhat generic 2000s rock chorus)
What is your opinion on Ismo Alanko? I personally enjoy how prolific and eclectic he has been, and I find it a shame that most of his work has never left Finland. I can especially imagine punk fans easily getting into his 80s work.
submitted by creatinsanivity to LetsTalkMusic [link] [comments]

2020.09.03 07:14 TodaystheDayeee In honor of the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2 (Sep. 2nd 1945), here's the Ares and Wonder Woman transcript to my next video.

"To me you are the most hateful of all gods who hold Olympus. Forever quarrelling is dear to your heart, wars and battles." - Zeus, Iliad, Book 5
Our story begins in Olympus in the time of the old gods but it could be anywhere at anytime. Hera, Queen of Olympus, Goddess of Marriage and Women had a son with her older brother and husband Zeus, the King of the Gods. They brought forth Ares, God of War and personification of the primal carnage of men. Not just war, the brutality of it. He would wage a war against love and unleash death where death need not be.
But Ares was not the only name used to invoke war. Not even the first. It's actually not clear where or when it first manifested. In the long prehistoric infancy of our species large scale conflict was likely not even possible. Contact was probably limited to fights over game as small bands or tribes followed herds, staying close to fresh water and foraging grounds. One of the earliest cemeteries called Jebel Sahaba in the Nile river valley near the border of Sudan and Egypt dates back at least 11,600 years. Of the 61 individuals found, 26 skeletons had arrowhead fragments near them or in some cases still embedded in them, causing speculation of a massacre. There was also evidence of healed injuries indicating persistent raids.
In 2005, excavation work began in Hamoukar, a large archaeological dig near the Iraqi and Turkish borders. The settlement there dates back to the 5th millennium BCE, but it was destroyed about 3500 BCE. Slings and thousands of clay bullets have been found among the ruins, possibly evidence of the earliest urban warfare discovered so far.
Then finally, writing began in Egypt and soon after the Palette of Narmer is inscribed. It tells the story of the 1st pharaoh of a unified Egypt vanquishing his rivals. This marks the beginning of the first dynasty about 3100 BCE in the mythical, as yet undiscovered capital city of Thinis which worshiped the Egyptian God of war, Anhur, the slayer of enemies.
The rest, as they say, is history and there is a lot of it.
The causes of war are simple. Simple needs. Simple desires. Desperation and greed. All seven deadly sins. All four horseman. Some call it the devil, temptation and evil. Bad thoughts, bad words, bad deeds.
And the story begins again around 850 years before the common era. A man of myth and his followers establish a city of mostly male bandits. Shortly after they throw a festival and announce it to the neighboring cities as a celebration. During the festival, the myth tells of 30 young women, all but 1 a virgin, who were abducted by their hosts and later implored to marry their abductors. The mythical man is known as Romulus and the newly founded city was Rome.
The scene becomes popular among artists and sculptors and is known as The Rape of the Sabine Women. The resulting hostility with the surrounding tribes erupted into the invasion of Rome which they fought back. Rome was quickly becoming a powerful force and defeated 3 neighboring tribes. It was soon on the offensive against King Titus Tatius of the Sabines, fighting against the fathers of their abducted wives. Intervention finally came, according to Roman historian Livy when the women,
"from the outrage on whom the war originated, with hair disheveled and garments rent, the timidity of their sex being overcome by such dreadful scenes, had the courage to throw themselves amid the flying weapons, and making a rush across, to part the incensed armies, and assuage their fury; imploring their fathers on the one side, their husbands on the other, "that as fathers-in-law and sons-in-law they would not contaminate each other with impious blood, nor stain their offspring with parricide, the one their grandchildren, the other their children. If you are dissatisfied with the affinity between you, if with our marriages, turn your resentment against us; we are the cause of war, we of wounds and of bloodshed to our husbands and parents. It were better that we perish than live widowed or fatherless without one or [the] other of you."
A treaty was struck, and the Sabines united with the Romans as one nation. Titus Tatius ruled with Romulus until his death five years later and as we all know, Rome was just getting started. Like the Spartans and Egyptians before them, the Romans had an affinity with their war God, this time known as Mars.
There are many other war gods and goddesses as well such as Agasaya, Agrona, Agurzil, Ah Chuy Kak, Ah Cun Can, Ah Hulneb, Ahulane, Alala, Alaisiagae, Al-Qaum, Alke, Amphillogiai, Anahita, Anann, Anath, Andarta, Andraste, Androktasiai, Anhur, Ankt, Anouke, Apedemak, Aray, Ares, Ashtart, Ashur and Athena. And that ladies and gentlemen, is just the A's.
The longest conflict in history is the Reconquista on the Iberian Peninsula between the Christians in what is now Spain and the conquering Muslims who invaded in the year 711. It lasted 781 years, finally ending with the 10 year long Granada War. Christian forces made a massive offensive push, recruiting farmers to swell their ranks, destroying enemy crops and pushing the Muslims towards the sea. It ended on Jan. 2nd, 1492 with the surrender of Islamic rule. 7 other wars or conflicts lasted longer than 500 years. Another 106 wars lasted longer than 50 years. But the God of war is insatiable and humanity was about to manifest the most destructive incarnation the world had yet seen.
In 1162, in a desolate place where food and luxury was scarce, a baby was born in exile from a disgraced family. He would go on to become a warrior and unite the Mongol tribes as Genghis Khan. His conquest was fueled by fear. He readily employed brutal tactics like spreading disease by catapulting the dead over walls. So many people died that weather patterns were disturbed and forest grew back on previously populated land. The Mongol horde trampled empires, handing down ultimatums of death or alliance. Fear spread like a plague, and the horde rode in behind it destroying some to tame the rest. Khan would promise protection and relative normalcy in exchange for complete surrender and regular tributes. Those made subordinate became sources of income, fueling the Khan’s engine of war. For a brief moment in time, Genghis Khan and the Khan's that followed carved out the largest contiguous empire on Earth.
Perhaps the deadliest confrontation in history took place under Hulagu Khan during the Siege of Baghdad in 1258, which lasted only 13 days. At the time, Baghdad was the capital of the Islamic Abbasid Caliphate. Their leader, Al-Musta'sim, was either overconfident or incompetent or both. When the Mongols had overcome the city's defenses they executed Al-Musta'sim and massacred the people leaving it greatly depopulated. Contemporary accounts state Mongol soldiers looted and destroyed mosques, palaces, libraries, and hospitals. The Grand Library of Baghdad, called the House of Wisdom, containing countless historical documents and books on medicine to astronomy, was destroyed. Priceless books torn apart, their leather covers used as sandals, their contents dumped in the river with the dead. Its said the Tigris ran red from the blood of philosophers and scientists and then turned black from the ink of their wisdom. The siege is considered to mark the end of the Islamic Golden Age.
This level of carnage would not be unleashed again in so short a time until the 20th century during WW1 and again just 1 generation later in WW2. The Siege of Leningrad alone, which lasted from 1941 to 1944, would leave 1 million to 5.5 million dead. Then the Battle of Stalingrad began in August 1942. It lasted into the winter and added again to list of bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. Air raids dropped bombs on civilians as fighting devolved into close-quarter, house-to-house combat. Both sides poured reinforcements into the city and by the end, as many as 2 million were dead. After five months, one week and three days of fighting the Axis forces had exhausted their ammunition and food, finally forced to surrender in February 1943. It was a turning point in the war that began pushing the Nazi's back to Berlin.
In the middle of this hell on Earth, in July 1942, Wonder Woman issue #1 - The Origin of Wonder Woman is released by DC Comics. In it, for some reason, she's carrying a parchment in her outfit which tells the history of the Amazons. Of course, she loses it and obviously someone at the Smithsonian gets it and translates it so we all get to learn what's happening now.
The story returns us to Olympus, Aphrodite is arguing with Ares over who will rule the world - men and violence and hate and war or women with love. Their argument spills over onto Earth. Women throughout the world are enslaved by Ares. Aphrodite turns the tables with a magic girdle she gives to the Amazons. The girdle is eventually stolen by Hercules who enslaves them. Aphrodite intervenes again, granting the Amazons the power to break the chains and remain free for as long as they refuse to submit to men. Their strength lie in the bracelets they wear as reminders of the chains that enslaved them. Away from the influence of men, they create a utopian civilization called Paradise Island.
But back in the real world on a different island in the Pacific theater of WW2, Ares was about to transform the meaning of war and place humanity's very existence on a knife's edge.
bellum omnium contra omnes (Latin phrase meaning "the war of all against all")
On July 16th 1945, the US detonated the first atomic bomb in New Mexico as part of a test. 9 days later the decision to drop one on Japan was made and Allied forces issued the Potsdam Declaration on July 26th which handed down an ultimatum of complete surrender or "the inevitable and complete destruction of the Japanese armed forces and just as inevitably the utter devastation of the Japanese homeland". The bomb wasn't mentioned and it ultimatum was rejected.
On August 2nd, Truman and other high profile US officials boarded the USS Augusta, headed back home across the Atlantic. A group gathered in Secretary of State James Byrnes’s cabin the first night at sea to watch a movie. It was called Wonder Man. A nightclub owner is murdered by gangsters but comes back as a ghost to haunt his killers. Truman stayed in his cabin, perhaps thinking about the explosion that was coming and the weight of his choices. He had written in his diary the day of the decision that, "the target will be a purely military one". It's hard to imagine he didn't know better.
About 3 days later, on the other side of the world, Tsutomu Yamaguchi was going to work at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for what was supposed to be his last day in the city. It was 8:15 AM, on August 6th, 1945 in Hiroshima, Japan and an estimated 70,000 people were about to die. Yamaguchi heard a plane overhead, he looked up and saw The Enola Gay B-29 bomber and he saw the object drop and the parachute attached to it. What dropped was an atomic bomb equivalent to 18,000 tons of TNT. It was more powerful than the previous largest bomb ever used in warfare by more than 1,500 times.
Yamaguchi described the blast like “the lightning of a huge magnesium flare.” He had barely been able to dive into a ditch before the boom ruptured his eardrums and the shock wave sucked him into the air and tossed him into a nearby potato patch. His face and forearms were badly burned and he thought he might of fainted for awhile but he was alive. He described everything like the start of an old film before the picture begins, "when the blank frames are just flashing up without any sound." The morning sun was blotted out by dust and debris and falling ash. A mushroom cloud of fire was rising over Hiroshima. He was less than two miles from ground zero.
A mile and a half away, half a mile from ground zero, Shigeyoshi Morimoto was luckier than 95% of the others within the same blast radius. The master kite maker was part of a secret military study to use kites against American planes. Suddenly he found himself under the rubble of his cousins home where he was visiting but Morimoto, his cousin, and his cousin's son all survived.
He said in an interview by Robert Trumbull in 1956 that it was like a lightning flash, then "the house collapsed and we were pinned beneath the fallen ceiling and roof." When they dug themselves out they couldn't believe level of destruction. Every building was flattened within a mile of the explosion, and fire would soon destroy every building within a 4.5 square mile radius. Within weeks, another 70,000 would die in the aftermath.
Sixteen hours after the explosion, a video was released of President Harry Truman revealing the existence of the atomic bomb to the world for the first time. “It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe,” he said. “The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East.”
Truman was actually still aboard the USS Augusta in the Atlantic ocean. He was having lunch when a navy captain delivered the message. Truman turned to his Secretary of State James Byrnes and shouted, “It’s time for us to get on home!” He then addressed the sailors in the mess-hall, calling for attention by banging silverware against a glass. The sailors went quiet and Truman made his announcement to an explosion of applause. Morale was soaring all over the Augusta. A sailor's quote summed it up best saying, “I guess I’ll go home sooner now.”
Yamaguchi was thinking about home too. In a daze, he found a couple coworkers who also survived. After taking shelter for a night, the three began making their way toward the somehow still operational train. They trekked through a desolated city of smoldering fires, crumbled buildings and the charred and melted corpses of the dead. Yamaguchi was forced to swim through floating bodies at a river crossing because the bridges were twisted wreckage. All to reach the station, where he boarded a train full of other burned and bewildered passengers.
Morimoto had gone back to the hotel he was staying at for work. It was badly damaged but still standing and three of his colleagues were alive. They got permission to leave the city on August 8th. The four men along with Yamaguchi were trying to get back home, to Nagasaki.
At least three trains made the 190 mile trip from Hiroshima to Nagasaki and arrived there by August 9th, the day that city would be bombed. 165 survivors from Hiroshima are thought to have traveled to Nagasaki and lived through the 2nd explosion as well. People who experienced both attacks are called “nijyuu hibakusha,” or “twice-bombed person.”
Yamaguchi reported for work at Mitsubishi’s Nagasaki office and at about 11 a.m. he was giving a full report on Hiroshima. He recounted what he could, the blinding light, the deafening boom, the devastation—but his superior didn't believe it, didn't believe a single bomb could destroy an entire city. Suddenly, another white flash exploded outside. Yamaguchi dropped just seconds before office windows were shattered by the shock wave and debris blew through the room. In his panic, he thought it had followed him but he had just survived a 2nd atomic bombing in 3 days.
He ran out of the wrecked building and past the ravaged city to get home to his wife and son. When he got there part of his house was a pile of rubble but they were alive and barely hurt. His wife had left to buy burn ointment for him, and she and the baby were near a tunnel when the bomb dropped. If Yamaguchi hadn't been burned in Hiroshima, his family might have been killed in Nagasaki.
Morimoto, the kite maker, had just finished describing the atomic bomb to his wife when their house was suddenly flooded with the same blinding flash. He was shouting as he shoved his wife and son into their air-raid shelter and pulled the heavy door shut behind him as their home was destroyed. Morimoto and his family were also uninjured.
But many others were not lucky. Roughly 200,000 people died after four months, about half on the first day, from the effects of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It remains the only nuclear bombing used in warfare and although Hiroshima had a sizable military garrison, most of the dead were civilians. After the immediate aftermath, people continued to die in the thousands for months from burns, radiation sickness, and injuries, made even worse by illness and malnutrition. Japan surrendered to the Allies on August 15th, six days after Nagasaki and the Soviet Union had also declared war on them. Japanese government officials signed documents on September 2, effectively ending the war and beginning occupation.
It is generally thought the casualties from the bombings is at or near the low estimates for casualties had the war continued on the ground. It was feared the number of dead could reach a million or more if the Allies invaded the Japanese homeland. Americans were also war weary, the massive operations were expensive, and military strategists were worried about the Soviet Union expanding its influence in the East. However, the debate over the ethical and legal justification for the bombings in still debated today.
But it didn't matter then. The war was over and America was celebrating. Humanity began to rebuild but there was little time to reflect. The full implications of what had happened were still coming into focus. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, William Leahy once decried the use of atomic weapons as "an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages", but in 1947 he reported a military requirement for 400 atomic bombs . The Soviet Union detonated an atomic test in September 1949. Oppenheimer, concerned about the devastation that future nuclear war could bring, was stripped of his job and commission. Despite his opposition, the U.S. had developed and tested a Hydrogen bomb by 1952. Ordinary fission bombs like the ones dropped in Japan would henceforth be regarded as small tactical nuclear weapons, a thousand times weaker than the new versions. The US had 23,317 nuclear weapons and the Soviet Union had 40,159 by 1986. More than 90% of the world's remaining 13,865 nuclear weapons were owned by Russia and the United States at the start of 2019. Over 2,000 nuclear tests have been conducted in over a dozen locations around the world by 8 different countries. 9 countries have nuclear weapons.
A team of researchers studied 1,024 species of mammals, and found the rate of lethal violence between Homo sapiens is 7 times higher than the average among all mammals. A different study found that although there are 7.6 billion humans we make up just 0.01% of all living things. In other words, humans are statistically insignificant, not only in the universe but on Earth as well and yet since the dawn of civilization, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants. And now our seeming dominance has put us on a path quite possibly to our own destruction. Unwittingly in some cases, proudly in others and cynically in some.
When Yamaguchi's son died from cancer at 59 in 2005, he went public with his story. After remaining silent since his 1950's interview, he began speaking out against nuclear war. Of the estimated 165 people who experienced both attacks and lived, he became the first and only survivor to be officially recognized by the Japanese government as “nijyuu hibakusha,” the “twice-bombed person.” A year later in 2010, he died at the age of 93. He said he got through the many years after the bombings with poetry.
It may seem as if the God of war is at his most powerful, feeding constantly on the chaos in the world and now humans have amassed the potential for total destruction. In the myths and the comics, Ares had done his best throughout the years to destroy the Amazons, sending Hercules against them and sacking their island but he had another plot for all humanity. To spark a war between the United States and Russia, provoking World War III. His ambitions were only thwarted when he was finally forced to face the truth that without the chaos of men he would cease to exist, having no one to worship him.
However, there would be survivors in this nightmare, like the Ginkgo biloba. A ginkgo tree survived in Hiroshima less than a mile from ground zero. It's nicknamed the Tree of Life and it happens to be the oldest species of tree on earth, dating back 270 million years. It also smells like vomit, helping it to survive thousands of generations of grazing animals. Along with the Ginkgo tree, other survivors would probably include rats, cockroaches, ants, scorpions, flies, wasps, worms, bacteria like E. coli, amoebas and the seemingly indestructible tardigrade. It wouldn't be the most pleasant world, but it would still be alive.
And the story begins again, one more time. There was once a utopia. At least that's what outsiders had come to think. It made sense from far away. It had been mostly forgotten, cut off from the world and for a long time no one questioned this supposed utopia. It had achieved an almost mythic, paradise lost status until finally an explorer came to stay there for awhile. At first it seemed the view from the outside was correct. But one day their leader died leaving a power vacuum and a tyrant emerged to fill it. Not all were willing to follow. A group of dissenters separated, forming a smaller group but this did not bring peace. A member of the new group was ambushed one day without warning, beaten badly and was never seen again. Over the next four years the smaller group was picked off 1 by 1 and systematically destroyed. The victors ate the flesh and drank the blood of their victims. They celebrated over the dead with hoots and screams. The explorer was horrified. There was no mercy. But it wasn't men that did these things, not this time. These were the events observed in the jungles of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania from 1974 to 1978 during the Gombe Chimpanzee War. The explorer was Jane Goodall. By the end, 10 were dead or missing and only 3 females remained. They were beaten and kidnapped and in that way the two groups became 1 again.
Goodall discovered the systematic hunting strategies and aggressive nature of chimpanzees, exposing their cannibalism and taste for smaller primates. She turned conventional wisdom upside down and found it difficult to come to terms with what she saw herself. But she also observed peaceful and affectionate behaviors, intelligence, emotions, social bonds and forced man to redefine itself, "or accept chimpanzees as human".
In 2019, there were at least 29 conflicts or wars where more than 100 people lost their lives including 17 minor conflicts, 9 wars and 4 major wars in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and the Mexican drug war. But despite the headlines. Despite the violence. Despite the tragedy and chaos and the potential destructive power Ares or Anhur or Mars could unleash on humanity at any minute. Despite how things might feel right now. Overall, things are getting better and can get better.
Because something else happened in the 20th century. It was said that a soul of an unborn daughter held back from creation when the first woman was murdered by a man, was put inside a baby girl made out of clay from paradise island. The baby girl was given life by the Greek Pantheon of Goddesses and named Diana. She grew up among a legion of sisters and mothers and became the champion of the Amazons and emissary to the world of men. They would call her Wonder Woman.
submitted by TodaystheDayeee to HistoryofReality101 [link] [comments]

2019.09.04 16:59 looper00009 VA - Traxsource - TOP 100 AFRO, LATIN, BRAZILIAN (22 Aug 2019)

Artist: VA Title: Traxsource Top 100 Afro, Latin, Brazilian (22 Aug 2019) Genre: Afro House Release Date: 2019-08-22 Quality: 320 kbps
Tracklist: 1. Afro Festival Led By Fantastic Tchico Tchicaya, Na – El Manicero Se Va (7:57) 2. Azymuth, Spiritual South – Roda Pião (Spiritual South Remix) (6:06) 3. Brothers In Arts – Ollopa (Original Mix) (6:26) 4. Brutal Bill – Black Sugar (Brutal Salsa Tribal Mix) (3:40) 5. Brutal Bill – Sueno Latino (Tribal Groove Mix) (6:37) 6. COEO – Cabrio Mango (Original Mix) (5:21) 7. Coeo – Nigerian Affair (6:53) 8. Coladera – Mantafro (Original Mix) (3:25) 9. Cotonete & Dimitri from Paris – Parribean Disco (Original Mix) (8:03) 10. Da Hit Makers, Afrik-N-Soul – Ancestrial Keys (AFRIK-N-SOUL RETOUCH) (7:38) 11. Daniel Haaksman – Puerto Rico (4:46) 12. Dany Cohiba – NuYorican Trumpet (5:42) 13. David Walters – Mama (3:43) 14. Daz-I-Kue, Tempo – Crash Boat Party (6:56) 15. De Pikles – Cumbia al Palo (Original Mix) (4:57) 16. Derun – La Puerta Del Cielo (Original Mix) (7:40) 17. Digital Afrika – Dark Matter (Original Mix) (5:15) 18. Digital Afrika – Mozambique (Original Mix) (6:36) 19. DJ Disse – Riders In The Storm (Original Mix) (7:21) 20. Dom Bird – Anikulapo (Giovanni Damico Afro Dub Mix) (5:37) 21. Doug Gomez, Toto Berriel – Coros En La Calle (Afro Caribe Mix) (7:34) 22. Edson Conceição, Mike Burns – Filhos de Gandhi (Um Abraço em Gilberto Gil) (Mike Burns Edit) (4:38) 23. Eko Roosevelt – Tondoho Mba (4:42) 24. Fatnotronic, In Flagranti – Botoque (5:46) 25. Flow Dynamics – Bossa for Bebo (5:00) 26. Freak Do Brazil – Samba do Gringo (4:55) 27. G.Zamora – La Rumba Viene (Original Mix) (6:56) 28. Gaijin Blues – Professor Tatsuro Kensu (Original) (5:33) 29. George Lesley, Jaidene Veda, Doug Gomez – I Smile (Doug Gomez Bossacumbe Instrumental) (9:43) 30. Gerardo Frisina – Camaguey (Tumbao) (5:11) 31. Grupo Magnético – Papa Was a Rolling Stone (2:53) 32. Hector Lavoe – Mi Gente (Louie Vega Eol Remix) (11:35) 33. I-Robots – Glamouflage Ft. Schaltkreis Wassermann (Original Mix) (8:21) 34. Jack Costanzo, Gerrie Woo – Hey Boy (Hey Girl) (2:23) 35. James Stewart – Mugara Ndega feat. Martha Thom & Jacob Mafuleni (Original Mix) (5:34) 36. Jerome Sydenham – Aro (Full Afro Dub) (8:49) 37. JKriv – Deep Cove View (JKriv Edit) (6:33) 38. JKriv – Ive Brussel (JKriv Rework) (6:53) 39. Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel – Fruta Fresca (Pete Herbert Remix) (5:50) 40. Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel – Sexmachina (4:28) 41. Juan Laya & Jorge Montiel Feat. Maria Rivas – Manduco (5:36) 42. Juan Laya And Jorge Montiel – Sexmachina (Extended Version) (5:44) 43. Juan Laya, Jorge Montiel, Ramon Ruiz – La Guitarra Azul, Pt. 1 (4:32) 44. Juan Laya, Jorge Montiel, Ramon Ruiz – La Guitarra Azul, Pt. 2 (5:12) 45. Julie Coker – Gossiper Scandal Monger (5:37) 46. Karl Hector & Nicolas Tounga – Ngunga Yeti Fofa (The Joaquin Joe Claussell’s Electric Afrika Version) (11:35) 47. Lagartijeando – Añoranza en las Yungas (5:38) 48. Lance Ferguson – Sweet Power, Your Embrace (Sweet Re-Edit) (7:13) 49. Madou Kouyate – Nindjougou (Unnayanaa Remix) (7:06) 50. Me And The Gang – Soulfood (5:13) 51. Melohman – Mela Fela (Original Mix) (7:39) 52. Men From The Nile, Peven Everett, Jazzanova – Watch Them Come!!! (Jazzanova Remix) (7:19) 53. MLiR – Mania (Original Mix) (11:29) 54. Musta – Mangiamo (Original Mix) (7:52) 55. Mustafa – Bombele (Original Mix) (4:12) 56. Nickodemus, Innov Gnawa, Umoja – Mystic Molay (Umoja Remix) (5:18) 57. Nickodemus, Ismael Kouyate, Tal M. Klein – N’Dini (Tal M. Klein Remix) (5:01) 58. Nickodemus, Jahdan Blakkamoore, Bosq – Livin’ Your Dream (Bosq Remix) (4:53) 59. Nickodemus, Quantic – Mi Swing Es Tropical (3:42) 60. Nickodemus, Quantic, The Candela Allstars, Tempo – Puerto Rico Pa Gozar (5:28) 61. Nickodemus, Sol Power All-Stars – Invisible Cities (Sol Power All-Stars Remix) (7:14) 62. Nickodemus, Yu Lin – A Long Engagement (Yu Lin Remix) (4:14) 63. Nouvelle Vague – In A Manner Of Speaking (3:58) 64. Obbatuke – Elegua (Original Mix) (8:17) 65. Orlando Julius, The Heliocentrics – Love Thy Neighbour (4:18) 66. Oyobi – Yege (6:56) 67. Oyobi, QVLN – Orunmila (5:39) 68. Painel De Controle – Relax (Extended Waxist Version) (5:57) 69. Paolo Pavan – Pablitos Way (Max Marinacci Remix) (8:00) 70. Ped One – La Rumba (Instrumental Pass) (6:07) 71. Peppe Citarella, Isidro Infante – Celia Y Tito (Afro Latin Main Mix) (5:45) 72. Professor Wouassa, Seun Anikulapo Kuti – Sunu Reou feat. Seun Anikulapo Kuti (11:31) 73. Red Axes – Addis (Original Mix) (9:39) 74. Ritmo Y Tumbao, Josh Milan – Uprock (6:28) 75. Rob Hayes – Canción Sol (Original Mix) (5:00) 76. Sam Qs, Vanessa Zagatto, Herb Middleton – Pickpocket (Herb Middleton Remix) (3:13) 77. Sano & Kapote – Sabrosito Tool (7:25) 78. Shamrock – People Of The Rain (5:53) 79. Shina Williams, Shina Williams, His African Percussionists – Agb’oju L’ogun (Original LP Version) (11:39) 80. Sol Power All-Stars – It Ain’t Right feat. Lenny Kurlou (Original Mix) (7:45) 81. SOOTHSAYERS – Dis & Dat (Ben Hauke Remix) (8:09) 82. Soothsayers – Heart Rules Head (Wu-Lu Remix) (2:34) 83. Southern Groove – Tu Si Bailas (5:29) 84. Sunlightsquare – Super People (Extended Mix) (5:24) 85. Tantra Zawadi, Rescue Poetix, Mikki Afflick – Universal Woman (Mikki Afflick An AfflickteD Vox Soul Mix) (7:10) 86. Tenesha The Wordsmith – Why White Folks Can’t Call Me Nigga (Original Mix) (5:00) 87. Teotima – But I Can’t (5:17) 88. The Bees – Hlabalaza (5:23) 89. The SinSay, Sound Bwoy – Furious Drums (Sound Bwoy Drum And Bass Mix) (6:01) 90. The Souljazz Orchestra – Kossa Kossa (4:08) 91. These Machines – Kumbia Magnetic (Original Mix) (6:59) 92. Tibau, Mollono.Bass – Melodia (Mollono.Bass Remix) (5:18) 93. Truby Trio – Prima Vera (feat. Cida De Assis) (6:18) 94. Tweak – Leroy (Original Mix) (5:47) 95. Ucha – Shosholoza (Extended Mix) (7:33) 96. Vito Lalinga (Vi Mode Inc Project), Antonello Parisi – Santiago De Cuba (Original Mix) (5:45) 97. Wanubalé – Strange Heat (5:18) 98. Web Web – Land Of The Arum Flower (Mr. Raoul K Remix (feat. Lady Parul)) (10:01) 99. Zona Soul – Spiritual Love (Zona Soul Original Mix) (7:24)
submitted by looper00009 to u/looper00009 [link] [comments]

2017.02.14 10:51 hiraryakun Kanin Kronicles! - Chapter 5

Kanin Kronicles!

Kwentong Kanin uKol sa Kapamilya, Kaibigan, at Kung anu-ano pang KaloKohan!


“Ilang siglo na ang nagraan, Bea? Ilang mga isla naang nabuo, at naglaho? Ilang mga sibilasyon na ang nagawa, at napabagsak? Ang alon ay dumadating, at nawala rin. Ang araw ay aangat ng isang segundo, at lulubog sa susunod. Hindi ko na alam kung ano ang konsepto ng oras, Bea. Kaya, sabhin mo saakin, pwede na ba tayo bumalik sa karinderia?”
“Dalawang araw pa, dong.”
…Bad trip.
Sa mga nakalipas na araw, nahanap ko ang sarili ko na nakikisama kay Bea. Dahil mga mabubuting kaibigan talaga ang mga aking kasama, iniiwanan nila ako sa mga nakaraang araw para maghanap ng sariling kakainan. Dahil naghahanap rin si Bea ng mga kainan, nag-pasya na lang kami na mag-sanib pwersa muna sa madidilim na araw na ito. Ngayong gabi ay nakahanap kami ng isang maliit na tindahan hindi may kalayuan sa call center. Nag bebenta sila ng samu’t saring mga inihaw, at siyempre barbecue rin. Nakatayo kami sa labas habang inuubos ang natitira naming stick ng barbecue.
Habang ngumunguya, nagsalita sa akin si Bea. “Alam mo ba kung ano na lang ang kulang dito?”
“Hindi ba obvious? Siyempre, masarap at mainit na kanin!”
“…Sasabihin ko sana sukang maanghang, pero sige, kanin rin.”
Napatingala si Bea sa langit, at tila ba binubulungan ang sarili. “Haay…kung meron lang sana akong tutong ngayon…”
“…Ang weirdo mo talaga, Bea.”
“Galing yun sayo?” sabi ni Bea, sabay kagat sa barbecue. “Pero, hindi mo maitatanggi na ang tutong ang llamado pag-dating sa barbeque.”
“Ha?! Kalapastangan. Laging panalo ang kanin, at kahit pag-dating sa barbecue ay ganoon din ang resulta.”
“Hay nako, eto nanaman tayo eh…” Humarap saakin si Bea at itinuro ang kaniyang barbecue stick sa akin. “Ipapakita ko sa iyo kung bakit panalo ang tutuong pag-dating sa barbecue!
“Una, dahil matigas ito, pwede mo siyang buhatin sa isang kamay, at ang barbecue stick sa kabila, kaya pwede mong kainin ito habang nakatayo! Ang tunay na street food!
“Pangalawa, ang barbecue, depende sa iyong pagbibilhan, ay magaan sa tiyan. Ang tutong ay mas mabigat sa normal na kanin, kaya mas llamado ka talaga.
“Pangatlo, ang tutong ay may kakaibang lasa na nagdadagdag ng bagong dimension sa barbecue pagdating sa lasa! At yun ang mga dahilan kung bakit mas masarap ang tutong pagdating sa barbecue.”
Pagkatapos ng kaniyang argumento ay yumuko siya, tila ba isang musikero nakakatapos lang ipresenta ang paborito niyang kanta.
Ang problema lang ang kanta na ginawa ng musikero na ito ay mali-mali.
“Hay nako…muli, Bea, ay nagkakamali ka!
“Una sa lahat, kung ang argumento mo ay tungkol sa pagkain ng nakatayo, gusto ko lang ipaalala sa iyo na may mga tindero na nagbebenta ng kanin na naka-balot sa dahon ng saging! Hindi lang ito pwede kainin ng nakatayo, mas masarap pa ito sa kahit pa anong tutong na pwede mong gawin.
“Pangalawa, kung mas mabigat nga ang tutong, ang kanin naman ay mas mainit. Pag hindi ka maingat masusunog mo ang iyong dila. Pero, pag ito na ay naluok mo at napunta sa tiyan, ang kaniyang init ay lalawak sa buo mong katawan! Hindi lang nabusog ang tiyan mo, kung hindi ang iyong diwa!
“At pangatlo! Hindi ko alam kung anong dimension yang pinagsasabi mo. Ang dimension lang na nararamdaman ko pag kumakain ng tutong ay di ko na mine-mention yung pangit ng lasa, dahil makikita mo na sa mukha ko pa lang.”
“Dapat talagang hindi i-mention yang mukha mo. Kahit sinong tao makarinig non mawawalan ng gana kumain.”
Pero bago pa ako maka-patuloy sa sasabihin ko, biglang tumunog ang aking cellphone.
“Ah, saglit lang ah.”
Kinuha ko to at tinignan kung sino ang tumatawag.
Hmm, kakaiba. Si Kuya Rene ang tumatawag.
“Ah, Jason, ikaw ba yan?”
“Oo, Kuya Rene. Bakit ka napatawag? At sino nagbigay sayo ng karapatan na tumawag sa akin? Pinatawad na ba kita sa pagtataksil na ginawa ninyo saakin?”
“Pagtataksil?” tumahimik ang kabilang linya ng saglit, bago ako may narinig na ‘aha!’ at mahinang pagtawa. “Pasensya na, Jason, pero usapan ay usapan. At isa pa wala ako ngayon sa karinderia.”
“Hmm?” bihira lang wala si Kuya Rene sa isang lugar, lalo na kung may pagkain na kasama sa usapan. “Edi nasaan kayo ngayon?”
“Nasa bahay ko. Birthday kasi ng nakababatang kapatid ko kasi eh.”
“Ah, pasabi ng happy birthday, ah!”
“Ano, Jason, tumawag ako kasi kailangan ko ng tulong dito sa birthday ni Nina.”
Si Nina yata ang nakababatang kapatid ni Kuya Rene.
“O sige, ano bang nangyari?”
“Nag-pasya kasi kami na maghawak ng potluck bilang selebrasyon. Yung nanay at tatay ko yung nagdala nung mga spaghetti at chicken, at yung iba naman dating gawi.”
“Teka, kung dating gawi…”
“Mukhang alam mo na nga kung saan papunta to. Dala ni Omar yung mga imported niya na tsitsirya, si Nestor nagdala ng gulay, tapos si Arthur nagdala ng ice cream…”
“…at dapat ako magdadala ng kanin.”
“Yun na nga ang problema. Di namin na pansin na hindi ka nga namin kasama hanggang kanina lang.”
Mga tunay na kaibigan.
“Ayaw niyo bumili na lang kala Mylene?”
“Sarado ang karinderia ngayon.”
“Ha? Ano nangyari?”
“Huling balita ko may sakit si Mylene eh. Dahil walang makaka-bantay ng ganong oras bukod siya, sinarado na lang muna. Hindi rin naman kami dapat pupunta ngayong araw.”
“Hmm…” problema nga ito. “Hindi pa ba sapat yung spaghetti para doon sa kapatid mo?”
“Mapili din kasi yung kapatid ko eh. Kailangan may kanin talaga.”
Hindi kaya…! Ito’y isang magandang pagkakataon! Kung ako ay makakaluto ng pinaka-masarap na kanin na natikman niya, pwede ko siya maging disipulo! Isang napakagandang pagkakataon!
“Sige, Kuya Rene, hayaan mo na saakin, ako na bahala diyan sa problema niyo!”
At bago pa man makasagot si Kuya Rene, binaba ko na ang telepono.
Tatakbo na sana ako pa-uwi ng napigilan ako ng isang boses. “Huy, saan ka pupunta?”
Sa sobrang pagmamadali ko, nakalimutan ko na kasama ko nga pala si Bea.
“Pasensya na, Bea, pero—“
Napangiti ako. Isang plano ang unti-unting nabubuo sa utak ko.
“Bea…paano kaya kung magkaroon tayo ng kaunting…paligsahan?”
“Paligsahan? Ano pinagsasabi mo diyan?”
“Kaarawan ngayon ng kapatid ng kaibigan ko, at naghanda sila ng maliit na handaan. Pero, may isang malalang aksidente na nangyari! Nakalimutan nila ang kanin! Isang napakalaking trahedya! Isang kasalanan sa mata ng Diyos!”
“Oo na, oo na, diretso na sa punto.”
“Ang punto ko, ay papunta na ako doon ngayon para mag-luto ng kanin. Kaya ito ang hamon ko sa iyo.” Itinuro ko ang daliri ko sa kaniya. “Tayong dalawa ay gagawa ng kanin para sa party na ito. At ang pinaka-nagustuhan ng birthday celebrant, ang masasabi natin ang mas nakakalamang sa dalawa. Ayos ba yun sa iyo?”
Tahimik si Bea habang iniisip ang aking proposal. Sa wakas ay ngumiti siya at tinignan ako, ang mga mata puno ng apoy.
“Alam mo namang hindi ako basta basta mag-papatalo, diba?”
“Yan ang gusto ko marinig!”
Nilabas ko ang aking kamao, at ganoon din naman ang ginawa ni Bea. At, nang walang oras na masayang, tumakbo na kami papunta sa tindahan para bumili ng bigas, at masimulan ang paligsahan.
Pagdating naming ni Bea, ang sumalubong saamin ay ang nanay ni Kuya Rene. Nang nagkaharap kami, ang unang pumasok ang sariling nanay ko. Pareho silang may kunot sa may bandang mata sa kakangiti, at pareho silang may amoy ng sabong panlaba.
Bigla ko tuloy na-miss ang sarili kong tahanan…
“Ah, kamusta. Kayo ba ang mga kaibigan ni Rene?”
“Opo.” sagot ko sa kaniya.
“Ay, pasensya na talaga kayo, di pa nga sumisikat ang araw eh nandito na kayo…maraming salamat talaga…”
“Ay, hindi po, ok lang, ok lang,” agad kong sabi, dahil mukhang talagang nag-aalala si nanay na naabala kami. “Mabuting kaibigan lang talaga naming si Kuya Rene, kaya wala to saamin.”
“Ah, ganoon ba? Maraming salamat sa inyo.” Humarap naman siya kay Bea. “Kasama mo rin ba si Rene sa trabaho niya?”
“Ah, hindi po,” agad linaw ni Bea, “Hindi nga po kami masyado magkakilala eh. Pero gusto ko rin pong tumulong.”
“Ganoon ba? Grabe naman, ang swerte talaga ng anak ko ang dami niyang kakilalang napakababait na tao!”
Ngumiti siya ng napakalaki, at pati ako naramdaman ang pagmamahal na nanggagaling sa kaniya. Pati si Bea napangiti dito.
“Halika, pasok kayo, pasok kayo. Tahimik lang, ah, tulog pa si Nina eh. Nandoon sila sa may kusina ngayon.”
Agad kaming nagtungo sa may kusina, kung saan ang buong kuwarto ay punong puno ng buhay. Si Kuya Nestor ay naghuhugas ng plato habang si Kuya Arthur naman ang nagtutuyo nito. Sa kabilang dulo ng kusina nakikita ko si Kuya Omar na nag-lalagay ng mga palamuti sa may bintana. Si Kuya Rene naman ay nakaupo sa may la mesa at nagtutusok ng mga hotdog.
“Ah, Jason, buti nakarating k—“
Nagtataka ako kung bakit naputol ang sinasabi niya ng mapansin ko na nakatingin siya sa aking katabi.
Muntik na manginig ang buong gusali sa lakas ng sigaw ni Kuya Rene. Agad akong tumalon at tinakpan ang bunganga ni Kuya Rene.
“Baliw ka ba brad?! Magigising mo kapatid mo niyan!”
Mukhang andaming sinasabi si Kuya Rene, pero wala akong maintindihan. Malamang dahil sa kamay ko.
Ng mapansin niya wala sa sinasabi niya ang nakakarating saakin, tumahimik din siya at tinignan na lang ako ng masama.
“So, Jason, mag-kabati na pala kayo?” si Kuya Nestor din ay mukhang intersado na nandito si Bea.
“Sinong gustong makipag-bati sa isang pagano?”
“Tawagin mo pa ako ng ganiyan ng isang beses at susunugin na kita sa isang tukod.”
Si Kuya Arthur naman ay tinignan ako ng may pag-hanga, “Grabe pala itong si Jason…matinik…hindi lang tayo nakasama ng ilang araw nakikipaglapit na sa isang magandang binibini…”
“Guys may narinig akong sumigaw, anong nangyar—h-h-ha?!”
Bumaba na si Kuya Omar mula sa may upuan niya, at mukha pati siya nagulantang ng makita si Bea. Narinig ko si Bea na nagpakawala ng tahimik na ‘Haaay’ habang minamasahe ang noo.
“Ganoon ba talaga nakakagulat na nandito ako…?”
“Pag-pasensiyahan mo na sila, hindi sila masyado nakakakita ng mga babae.”
“B-Bastos ka Jason!” sigaw ni Kuya Omar.
“O-Oo nga!” habol ni Kuya Rene. “Lagi kaya naming nakikita si Miss Mylene!”
“Miss Mylene? Yung babae sa karinderia?” tumawa si Bea. “Grabe, Jason, tama ka nga.”
Ito ba ang paghihiganti na nilalasap ko? Sa wakas, sinagot rin ng Panginoon ang mga panalangin ko! Maraming salamat Bea!
Pero, kung tutuusin, ang dalawang babae rin naman na kilala ko ay si Bea at Mylene lang din. Dapat ba talaga akong maging mapag-pasalamat…?
“Di bale na,” Humarap si Bea sa kanila, “Nandito ako dahil rinig ko mayroong kayong problema, at nandito ako para tumulong, hindi tanungin ng mga walang kwentang bagay. Comprende?”
Tumango ang lahat. Pati si Kuya Arthur, na doble yata ang laki kay Bea, ay mukhang natatakot.
“Mahusay,” bulong ko sa kaniya.
Ngumiti naman si Bea, “Kailangan mo talaga maging mapamilit, lalo na sa mga makukulit na kustomer.”
Pwede mong sigawan yung kustomer sa call center…?
Nagtungo kaming dalawa sa may lababo. Mukhang naalog naman ang mga iba sa kanilang gulat at bumalik na kaagad sa trabaho nila. Nakangiti lang naman ang nanay ni Kuya Rene habang nangyayari ang lahat ng ito.
Nilabas ko ang aking mga kasangkapan sa maliit na grocery bag na dala ko. Isang kilong bigas, dahon ng pandan, at konting mga herbs. Simple lang, pero itong mga kasangkapan na ito lang ang kailangan ko para gumawa ng mahika.
Tumingin ako sa mga binili ni Bea na mga gamit. Napatawa ako sa nakita ko.
“…Ano problema mo?” tingin saakin ni Bea, naiinis sa aking tawa.
“Wala, wala naman…pero yoghurt? Mantikilya?! Sa kanin?! Nako, Bea, lahat yata ng panahon mo sa call center naprito na yang utak mo.” Ngumiti lamang si Bea sa mga sinabi ko. “Manood ka lang.”
At mula doon ay nagsimula na kami.
Nagtakal ako ng mga tatlong tasa ng kanin mula sa aking bigas. Dahil magluluto din si Bea ng kanin, hindi ko na kailangan gumawa ng ganoon ka rami. Dinala ko ang aking caldero sa may lababo at sinimulan banlawan ang bigas. Pinaga ko lamang ito ng dahan dahan. Gusto ko lamang matanggal ang mga dumi sa bigas. Pag masyado kasi nilinis ang bigas, mawawala ang lasa at nutrisyon nito. Ang gusto kong marating na punto ay yung kung saan ang tubig ay kasing linaw na ng isang batis.
Sinilip ko muna ang ginagawa ni Bea habang nililinis ko ang kanin ko. Kinuha niya ang mantikilya at ipinahid ito sa may loob ng kaldero. Ganoon din ang yoghurt. Tsaka niya nilagay ang bigas sa may loob ng kaldero. Kasabay ng tubig ay naglagay siya ng asin at paminta.
Parang medyo alam ko na ang gustong gawin ni Bea.
Ang mantikilya at yoghurt ay paraan upang madaling matangal ang tutong sa may kaldero. Isa din siyang paraan para hindi masunog kaagad ang kanin. Ang asin at paminta ay siyempre kaunting pampalasa. Ang gusto sigurong abutin na lasa ni Bea ay isang halo sa matamis, may konting lasa ng mani, at malasa na tipo na kanin.
Isang marangal na subok, Bea, pero ikaw ay papalya pa rin. Dahil mali ang pagkakita mo sa kanin.
Ang kanin ay hindi ang bida ng pelikula. Hindi siya ang lead na actor sa entablado. Hindi umiikot ang mundo sa kaniya.
Hindi, ang kanin ay parang ang sidekick na tumutulong sa may bayani upang mag-tagumpay laban sa kasamaan. Siya ang lalaking nasa likod ng kamera para makita ng lahat ang ginagawa ng artista. Hindi umiikot ang mundo sa kaniya, ang mundo umiikot dahil sa kaniya.
Magiging matamis ang pag-bagsak mo, Bea.
Sa wakas malinis na rin ang tubig ng bigas na ginagawa ko. Pagkatapos ko tanggalin ang madumi na tubig at palitan ng bagong malinis at malamig na tubig, nilagay ang pandan, inilagay ko ang kaldero sa may kalan, at binuksan ang apoy sa pinakamalakas na lebel.
Ang maganda sa kanin ay hindi mo siya kailangan bantayan basta tama ang pagkagawa niya. Kaya, habang hinihintay na kumulo ang sinasaing, pinuntahan ko si Bea.
“Musta naman pagluluto mo? Pwede na ba itapon?”
“Kung meron mang kanin na itatapon sa ating dalawa, yun ay yung sayo!”
“Hindi pwede yun, dahil malalaman na ng mga anghel na ako ang kumuha ng recipe nila!”
“Ang anghel lang na pupunta sa yo ay ang anghel ng kadiliman.”
“Anak?” rinig ko tinanong ng nanay ni Kuya Rene sa kaniya, “Lagi ba talagang nagaaway yang dalawang yan?”
“Hayaan niyo na sila, ma,” sabi ni Kuya Rene ng di man lang tumitingala, “Pareho lang talaga silang baliw.”
Sa wakas ay kumulo rin ang aking kanin. Tinangal ko ang takip at tinignan ang laman. Ah, naayon sa plano! Napaka-puti ng kanin, parang gatas, o kaya nama’y ulap. Tinakpan ko ito ulit at binabaan ang lakas ng apoy.
Naka-salang na rin ang kaldero ni Bea, at matiyaga niya itong inoobserbahan. Isa nanamang malalang kahinaan ng tutong. Mahirap din siyang gawin. Pag-mali ang oras ng pagluto, masusunog ang buong kanin at masisira ang lahat ng bigas na sinaing mo. Kaya mas maganda kung ang tutong ay aksidente lamang, para bang sorpresa na makikita mo sa dulo ng kaldero. At tulad ng lahat ng aksidente, dapat ito ay kinakalimutan na lamang.
Dahan-dahang napuno ang kuwarto ng amoy ng kanin. Tila ba lahat ng tao sa loob ng kusina ay napatigil sa ginagawa nila, at nilanghap ito ng isang saglit. Ito, mga kaibigan ang amoy ng langit!
…Na may halong amoy ng sunog na kanin. Ano ba naman yan kasi, Bea.
Pinatay ko ang apoy at binuksan ang kaldero. Nakatambad ang nakaputi at puro na kanin, na perpektong perpekto ang pagkaluto. Meron din siyang mga butas butas sa gitna, ang senyales ng napakagandang kalidad ng pagluto ng kanin. Kumuha ako ng plato para paglalagyan ng kanin. Tinanggal ko ang dahon ng pandan, at dahan dahang binuhos ang kanin sa plato. Sa inaasaan, walang kadiri na tutong na namuo, puro lamang na kanin.
Pagkabuhos ko ng lahat ng kanin, kinuha ko ang mga herbs at inilagay ito sa ibabaw. Ito’y hindi lamang pampadagdag ng lasa kung hindi pati ng kulay.
Sa mga oras kung saan tapos na ako mag disenyo ng plato ko, natapos rin ang pagkaluto ni Bea. Kumuha siya ng isang plato, at dahan dang binuhos ang kanin sa may isang banda. Sa kabilang banda naman, nilagay niya ang mga tostadong parte ng kanin. Ang amoy ay sobrang sarap, para bang amoy ng latin America. Kailangan ko bigyan ng konting parangal si Bea, napakagaling ang pagkakagawa ng kanin niya.
Ng makita ng mga kasama naming ang nagawa naming mga obra maestra, sila ay napa-‘wow’ at pumalakpak. Lumapit si Kuya Nestor at tinignan ang kanin naming dalawa.
“Seryoso, Jason,” sabi ni Kuya Nestor, “Ayaw mo talaga mag-kulinarya?”
“Naku, magiging sobrang tuwa ni Nina pagnakita niya ito!” sabi naman ng nanay ni Kuya Rene.
“Ito ang magiging best party na mararanasan niya!” sabi ni Kuya Rene, “At hindi ito magiging possible kung wala kayo, guys!”
“Tigil na drama, Rene,” sabi ni Kuya Omar, “Tawagin mo na lang at makakain na tayo!”
Pinosisiyon naming ang mga ulam at kanin sa may salas. Tumaas naman si Kuya Rene at ang nanay ng dahan dahan, at nag-hintay kami sa dilim.
Sa may bintana, unti-unting pumapasok ang liwanag ng araw na ngayon pa lang bumabangon. Sa ere ang amoy ng samu’t saring aroma ng mga pagkain. Lahat kaming natira ay nagtago sa likod ng supa. Nag-gitgitan ang mga katawan namin, para magkasya kami.
Sa kanan ko ay si Kuya Arthur, na ang mga kalamnan sa braso ay para bang mga bato. Agad kong naalala ang sarili kong mga braso na para bang walis tingting.
“Huy, usog, hindi ako kasya,” bulong ni Bea. Umusog naman ako, at gumitgit si Bea saakin. Kabaligtaran ng braso ni Kuya Arthur ang braso ni Bea. Sobrang lambot nito at sobrang kinis.
Pero bago pa ako maka-iling, narinig naming ang dahan dahang pagbaba ng hagdanan ng tatlong pares ng mga paa.
“Ang aga masyado kuya…ano meron…” isang boses na di pamilyar ang narinig kong bumababa. Ito na ang birthday celebrant.
Pag-kababa niya ay binuksan niya ang ilaw. Ito na ang hudyat!
Pag-kabukas na pagka-bukas, tumalon kami mula sa likod ng supa. “Happy Birthday!”
Si Nina, na mukhang pito o walong taong gulang pa lamang ay nagulat sa amin. “Wah! Birthday ko na ba?!”
Tinignan niya ang relos para i-konpirma. “Oo nga, oo nga, birthday ko na talaga! Yehey!”
“Anak,” sabi ng nanay ni Kuya Rene, “Ito ang mga kaibigan ni Kuya Rene. Alam mo ba, sila ang naghanda ng lahat ng ito?”
“Wow!” sabi ni Nina. “Ang dami naman!”
“Alam mo ba? Nagising sila ng sobrang aga para lang maluto lahat ng yan para sa yo!”
“Maraming, maraming, maraming salamat! Kuya! Ate!”
Napangiti na lang kaming lahat at napatawa. Mukhang lahat ng pagpapagod naming ay nagkahalaga rin sa huli.
At mula doon ay nagsimula na ang kainan.
Nagpasahan pasahan ng mga plato, at pumila na ang lahat. Siyempre si Nina ay agn birthday girl, kaya siya ang pinaka-una.
“Nanay,” tanong ni Nina, mukhang nagtataka, “Bakit dalawa ang kanin natin?”
“Ah, si Kuya Jason at Ate Bea mo nagluto niyan. Rinig kasi nila na mahilig ka sa kanin, kaya nag-luto sila ng dalawang klase.”
“Wow! Oo nga, oo nga, sobrang hilig ko sa kanin!” Tumingin siya sa akin at ngumiti.
“So, Nina, anong gusto mong kunin na kanin? Itong malambot, luto yan ni Kuya Jason mo, at yung matutong naman ay yung kay Ate Bea.”
Ito na ba ang panahon para sa desisyon? Tinignan ko si Bea, at mukhang parehas rin ang iniisip namin. Tumango kami, at hinintay ang sagot ni Nina.
“Hmm…” nag-isip ng malalim si Nina, “Gusto ko silang tikman pareho! Luto kasi ni Kuya Jason at Ate Bea ito para sa akin!”
Nakita kong ngumiti si Bea. “Ang bait mo namang bata…”
Dahan dahan ding umusog ang pila, at sa wakas na puno ko rin ang plato ko ng samu’t saring ulam. Spagheti, hotdog, at siyempre, ang bida ng gabi, ang luto kong kanin! Kahit na pagod na pagod na ako, di ko mapipigilang tikman itong luto ko! Ngayon, ang kailangan ko na lang gawin ay mag-hanap ng upuan…
“Psst…” may narinig akong tumawag saakin, pag-ka talikod ko, nakita kong sumesenyas saakin si Bea. Nakaupo siya sa may supa, katabi si Nina.
Pag-lapit ko naman ay pinakilala ako ni Bea. “Ah, Nina? Ito naman si Kuya Jason mo, siya yung nagluto nitong kanin na to, na mabasa basa at mukhang hilaw pa.”
Ah, Bea? Yan ang talagang itsura ng kanin. Ang delikado ay yung mukhang sunog, tila ba yung niluto mo?
“Hello, Kuya Jason! At hindi po yan hilaw Ate Bea, ganyan lang po talaga itsura niya.”
Tumingin ako kay Bea at bumelat. Kala mo ah.
Umupo ako sa tabi ni Nina at nilapag ang plato sa may la mesa. “Nasorpresa ka naman sa ginawa namin, Nina?”
“Opo! Nakalimutan ko nga po na birthday ko po ngayon eh!”
“Ilang taon ka na ba, Nina?”
“Six po!”
“Six? Grabe ang bata mo pa pala…” Ano nga ba ginagawa ko ng six ako?
Naalala ko tuloy ang itsura ni mama at papa, at di ko alam kung bakit, pero bigla ko nagustuhang umuwi...
“Natikman mo na baa ng mga luto namin?” naalis ako sa mga iniisip ko ng tinanong ni Bea si Nina.
“Hindi pa eh…”
Nagka-tinginan kami ni Bea. Ito na talaga ang pagtatapos. Kung ano man ang sagot, siya ang panalo ng gabing ito. Kaya sige na, Nina, ano ang mas masarap na kanin?!
“Kung sabagay, yun naman talaga ang sasabihin ng isang bata eh…” sabi ni Bea. Kailangan ko sumangayon sa kaniyang sinabi.
Nasa labas kaming pareho ni Bea, umiinom ng soft drinks, at pinakikinabangan ang malamig na simoy ng hangin ngayong umaga.
Kanina ay pinatikim naming kay Nina upang sino Manalo. Ang resulta ay…
“Grabe! Ang sarap nilang pareho, Kuya Jason, Ate Bea! Ito na siguro ang mga pinaka­-masarap na kanin na natikman ko! Ito na nga ata ang best birthday ever!”
“Alam mo naman Bea na sinabi lang ni Nina yun kanina para di ka mapahiya, diba?”
“Edi bakit niya dinura yung kanin mo nung hindi ka nakatingin?”
“Tumahimik ka na nga lang diyan.”
Tinignan ko ang araw habang umaangat sa malayo. At nung panahon na iyon, nakita ko nanaman ang dalampasigan sa may bayan namin…at paano ko pinapanood ang pag-angat ng araw kasama si—
“Hoy,” nawala nanaman ako sa iniisip ko, dahil kay Bea. “Yan nanaman yung mukha mo eh.”
“Wala na tayong mag-gagawa, pinanganak na guwapo, mananatiling gwapo.”
“Hindi yun, loko,” sinabi niya at siya’y umupo sa aking tabi.
“Ang lapit mo…”
“Paki ko?”
Putik naman, Bea, kahit na demonyita ka, babae ka pa rin! Alamin mo mga hangganan mo!
“So,” sabi ni Bea bago pa man ako makasalita, “Ano naalala mo?”
“W-Wala akong inaalala.”
“Hmm? Ang mga sinungaling pumupunta sa impyerno. Kung sabagay, didiretso ka naman talaga doon eh, kaya wah mo na lang alahanin sinabi ko. Mag sinungaling ka lang ng magsinungaling.”
Nakasulat na talagang pupunta ako sa impyerno…?
“Pero,” sabi ko, “Paano mo nalaman may inaalala ako?”
“Gumagawa ka ng kadiring mukha eh. Parang pag tinitikman mo yung sarili mong kanin?”
“Hindi ako gumagawa ng mukha pag-kumakain ng kanin, dahil nag-hihiwalay ang aking espiritu at lumipad ito sa ere sa sobrang galak.”
“Bayaan mo na. Wala ka namang kinalaman sa inaalala ko eh.”
“Kung sabagay…”
Nanatili kaming naka-upo doon, tahimik lamang, habang inuubos an gaming mga soft drinks.
“Mauuna na ba tayo?” tanong ni Bea. Tumango ako at sabay kaming pumasok sa loob.
Nagpaalam kami sa mga Kuya at kay Nina. Ang huli akong nag-paalam ay sa nanay ni Kuya Rene.
“Mag-ingat kayo sa biyahe, ah?”
“Opo, wala pong problema.”
“Atsaka, iho?”
“Wag mo na siyang pakawalan ah?” sabi niya, sabay kindat.
…Anong ibig-sabihin non?
“Hoy, lika na, gusto mo ba ma-iwanan?” rinig kong sigaw ni Bea mula sa pintuan.
“Teka, saglit lang,” sagot ko. Nagpasalamat ako muli sa nanay nila Kuya Rene, at tumakbo papunta sa may kusina. Kinuha ko ang natitirang bigas at ang mga iba kong pamilihin mula sa lababo, at tumungo na sa may pintuan para samahan si Bea.
Sabay kaming nag-lakad, walang sinasabi. Sobrang antok ko na rin, kaya di ko alam kung may masasagot pa ba ako pag-nag usap kami.
“Ah,” humarap ako kay Bea ng makita ko ang pamilyar na berdeng sign post. “Hanggang dito na lang ako.”
“Diyan ka ba nakatira?”
“Hindi, hindi, may bibistahin pa ako bago ako umuwi. Kaya mo na ba mag-isa?”
Tumango si Bea, kaya tumalikod na ako at kumaway.
“Sige…kita na lang tayo bukas.”
Pinigilan ako ni Bea bago pa ako makalayo. Humarap ako muli sa kaniya. “Bakit? May problema ba?”
Ng una ay wala siyang sinasabi, at nakatingin lamang sa lupa, habang niyayakap ang sarili. Sa wakas ay huminga siya ng malalim. Tinaas niya ang ulo niya at tinignan ako diretso sa mga mata.
“Pag meron mang umaabala diyan sa isip mo, wag mong kalimutan na may mga kaibigan ka na nakapaligid sayo. Tandaan mo yan.”
“Ha? Pinagsasabi mo diyan?”
Wala muling sinabi si Bea. Pero, makalipas ng ilang saglit, sumagot na naman siya. “Wala naman. Baka sakali lang.”
“…Ok? Weirdo…”
At muli akong tumingin pa layo sa kaniya.
Ano meron doon sa babaeng iyon…?
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