Bangkok Impact is the nom de disco of talented newcomer Sami Liuski. Sami is a 23-year-old electronics genius from the small town of Rovaniemi in northern Finland. His father is a dairy worker. His mother’s employed by the local police station. Sami lives on his own, but he has a girlfriend. He studies digital media at the University of Lapland.

Music is his consuming passion, however, and over the past two years Sami has released a handful of incredible singles. Chances are you’ll have heard his latest one, ‘Masters Of The Universe’, while out and about in the country’s hipper nightspots. A deluxe nine-minute nouveau-disco epic in two parts, ‘Masters Of The Universe’ is Sami’s hymn to that great macho stoic, He Man, and it rocks hard in the campest fashion possible. VICE magazine describes it as “the best dancefloor record pressed onto plastic this year” and you know what? They’re spot on.

Though Finnish, Sami has forged close ties with the formidable Dutch electro scene, which is finally receiving deserved exposure in the UK. There, respected labels such as Clone (based in Rotterdam), Crème Organization and Bunker (from The Hague), and major player I-F’s Viewlexx, Panama and Holosynthesis imprints champion a dirty, debonair approach to dance music that’s led to their style being dubbed ‘”The West Coast Sound of Holland”.
In 2001, working under the pseudonym 8-Bit Rockers, Sami sent Bunker a demo which they swiftly released as a 12-inch. That same year, Sami gave Bunker another demo featuring tracks by his other aliases, Lolita Strap and Bangkok Impact. The Bunker crew were so impressed with Sami’s playful and inventive neo-disco sound that they instantly released it on their new label, Crème Organization.

Of his Bangkok Impact pseudonym, Sami says: “I was smoking a cigarette one morning and I was playing with words in my mind. These two popped in out of nowhere and I thought they sounded pretty good. Afterwards I searched Google by using these as keywords and found out that there's an arena in Bangkok called Impact where things like Robbie Williams gigs take place. I didn't know this before, or maybe it was in my subconsciousness.”
8-Bit Rockers, on the other hand, “sounded nice because at the time I was making this computer-pop that sounded like it was coming from a computer game. Lolita Strap was another of these ‘two words that come out of nowhere’ things.”

Today, Crème attracts a growing number of like-minded, peculiarly-named European artists – Monkey Chop, Mr Clavio, Polarius, It & My Computer – and has yet to put out a record that doesn’t bring the house down. You’re strongly advised to find the first Bangkok Impact single. Both tracks, ‘Aspirin’ and ‘Junge Dame Mit Freundliche Tel’, ably demonstrate Sami’s natural flair for marrying killer synth melodies to an unorthodox style of house music. Some call it his “Finnish tango sound”.

Bangkok Impact’s debut album ‘Traveller’ is Crème’s most significant release to date. It is aptly named too, as it finds Sami exploring dance music’s past, investigating its future possibilities, and questioning his affection for disco. For a debut, ‘Traveller’ is some accomplishment. Sami’s assured, clean production technique allows him to blend funk, soul, supple computer pop and trippy, organic electro into a flexible and seductive style all of his own. ‘Traveller’ is: an immediately gratifying listen; an accessible soul odyssey; an 11-track masterclass in modern disco finesse; an honest album straight from Sami’s heart.

“When I made the LP I was listening to a lot of music produced by Quincy Jones from the late-’70s/early-’80s,” he admits. “I love those Moog basslines in his productions as well as in old Bootsy Collins records! Metro Area influences me a lot, I really like their style of electronic funk and, again, those basslines rock. Older stuff like Giorgio Moroder and Patrick Cowley are obvious influences, as well as Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra – I love those melodies and chord progressions. Also, I was influenced by Dutch producers like Legowelt, I-F and The Parallax Corporation.”

Like fellow Scandinavians Röyksopp and reclusive Scots duo Boards Of Canada, Sami has the enviable ability to remix his own environment, to lucidly transcribe his emotions into a lush, harmonious sound.
“I guess my music does have a melancholy tone,” he says. “I believe that music is influenced a lot by where one is living. I live here up north where it's very, very cold in winter. The sun doesn't stay up very long now so most of the day it's dark. It's a very strange feeling and sometimes depressing too. Of course it's all over my music, even if it's always not very evident. There is still this feeling I experience every day.”

As a child, Sami discovered the joys of music through friends and the radio. The first record he bought was Metallica’s ‘Ride The Lightning’. Although Sami has dedicated most of the last four years to music production, he began making tunes at the age of 12, composing songs on his Amiga 500 computer using tracker programs and sampled instruments. “I was mainly toying around but I learnt the basics of how different instruments interact with each other,” he says. “I also played guitar when I was younger and learnt some basic music theory through that. Later on I got some more equipment and started learning things more seriously.”

Crème aside, Sami has additionally released excellent tracks on I-F’s Viewlexx label (‘The Floor’) and contributes ‘Bright Light, Dim Light’ to Clone’s superb ‘We Still Kill The Old Way’ compilation. For the curious, that album is a comprehensive introduction to the sounds of the Dutch scene. Then there’s Putsch ’79’s ‘1300’ EP, Sami’s New York disco-style collaboration with pal Pauli Jylhänkangas, out now on Clone. And if you come across tracks by Olavi and Omni Incentive, yup, that’s Sami as well.

“It's fun to play with names and mix people's minds,” adds this multi-monikered musician. “I think it also represents the thing that I've always liked about electronic music: the music itself is important, not who is behind it.”

-- Piers Martin -- Vice UK 2003

• 8-bit Rockers ep (2000, Bunker)
• 8-bit Rockers lp (2001, Bunker)
• Lolita Sträp 12" (2001, Crème Organization)
• Bangkok Impact - Aspirin / Junge Dame Mit Freundliche Tle 12" (2002, Crème Organization

• Bangkok Impact - Masters of the Universe 12" (2002, Crème Organization)
• Bangkok Impact - The Floor EP (Viewlexx, 2002)
• Putsch '79 12" (Clone, 2002)
• Omni Incentive 12" (Crème Eclipse 01)
• Bangkok Impact - Traveller 2LP/CD (February 2003, Crème Organization) - (Jockeyslut Magazine Album of the Month, May 2003)
• Olavi - Flamenco (2002, Raum...musik)
Bangkok Impact - Junge Dame mit Freundliche Tel Remixes EP (Crème)
• Bangkok Impact feat. Kassen - Colour Over Taste LP (CEM)

Compilation appearances:
• Bangkok Impact - Flash CD, mixed by Jennifer (2002, 2)
• Bangkok Impact - Mezzanine De L'Alcazar 2 CD (2002, Pschent)
• Lolita Sträp - This is not the 80s CD (2002, INCredible Records/Sony Music)
• Bangkok Impact - We Still Kill The Old Way pt.2 (2002, Clone Records)
• Bangkok Impact - Pop (on v/ Are we Too Late For The Trend) (2003, Crème Organization)
• Lolita Sträp - I'd Love To Eat You Right now (on v/ Are we Too Late For The Trend) (2003, Crème Organization)
• Bangkok Impact on Molotov Records Compilation LP

Crème Organization Home

Art by Mehdi Rouchiche Site by TLR. ©2003 Global Darkness


Crème 12-02 - Lolita Sträp
My Dance

Video Screen

Crème 12-03 - Bangkok Impact

Junge Dame Mit Freundliche Tel

Crème 12-08 - Bangkok Impact
Masters of the Universe

Black Zoo
Slot Cars
Like A Virgin

Crème LP-01 - Bangkok Impact - Traveller 2LP
Aus Birgittes Tagebuch
Don't Be A Badboy

Masters of the Universe

BANGKOK IMPACT - Masters of the Universe 12"
Okay, the bets are off, it's official: this is the best dancefloor record pressed onto plastic this year. Let's face it, if you're going to write a deluxe nine-minute nouvaeu-disco epic in two parts, you pretty much have to call it "Masters of the Universe". What could be gayer? How about a fancy synth mince through "Like A Virgin" on the b-side? Oh My, that would be irresistible. 10/10
CARAVAGGIO (Vice Magazine - UK Launch Issue 2)

Disco always creeps back into vogue, reminding us that it's both the original and one of the best forms of dance music (and, of course, where dance music as we know it started).
Disco is the sound that never dies, and the Dutch know it better than anyone. Artists and labels in Rotterdam and The Hague (the latter more usually associated with electro these days) have been spreading the word of disco¹s umpteenth coming for a while now. Ever since I-F's defining 'Mixed Up In The Hague' compilations, the likes of Legowelt and The Parallax Corporation have been busily reinventing disco.
Now their time has come, and people are finally waking up to the nouveau disco sound. Of course, Britain is a little behind as usual - Legowelt's 'Disco Rout' was one of the biggest tracks in mainland Europe last year but didn¹t even make the radar screen over here.
It was hearing Legowelt that first prompted Finnish producer Sami Liuski, aka Bangkok Impact, to switch to disco. The result is 'Traveller', a tour de force of an album that easily measures up to the artists that inspired it in the first place. A shiny, funky hybrid of Italo-disco tinged with electro and techno, 'Traveller' is both retro and modern, nodding to Giorgio Moroder as well as the new school.
Unlike the majority of electro obsessives, Liuski can write a song - there are three vocal tracks out of 13 ('Don't Be A Badboy', 'Crowdpleaser' and the salacious 'Give It To Me Baby'). He¹s just as tasty with an instrumental, though, as shown by the irresistible funk-driven grooves of 'Logarhytmic', 'Passenger' and 'Rymdfunk'.
But in the end it¹s Liuski's impeccably light touch, attention to detail and the sheer infectious nature of his grooves that make 'Traveller' such a delight from start to - if you'll pardon the pun - Finnish. Let there be disco - again.
Tom Magic Feet (8) Jockeslut Magazine, May 2003

(replace the ~AT~ with @)


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