On an experimental trip: Elifantree interviewed

Experimental pop trio Elifantree doesn’t fit the mold: they’ve been described as being closer to Deerhoof than jazz and their live shows are said to be tightly drilled and arresting live experiences, that bring together ambient textures and improvised punk.

The group is preparing their third album in 4 years currently, and interesting collaborations and live dates are right around the corner.

Despite having been busy with Elifantree, the members have a lot of things happening on other frontiers as well: Vocalist Anni Elif Egecioglu is a member of Augur Ensemble and Kauhukakara,  saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen has been busy with his other groups Equally Stupid, Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy and DEFEKT, while trio’s drummer Tatu Rönkkö also plays in Danish band Efterklang

This week you can catch Elifantree performing as a part of We Jazz festival on Friday at Ääniwalli, Helsinki alongside Phronesis and Ahvenlahti–Koivistoinen 3G Quintet

We talked with saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen to hear more about Elifantree and their upcoming activities. 

Tell us about Elifantree.

Elifantree is a Helsinki/Berlin based trio that delivers an experimental musical trip on the border between pop and improvised music. We combine unique sounds, catchy pop-elements and irresistible grooves and create a sound much larger and wider than the sum of their parts. 

Elifantree has performed widely in Europe and beyond during the last few years and has gained a strong reputation as an energetic, unrestrained and constantly surprising live act that has been compared to art works of David Lynch, Charlie Chaplin and Pablo Picasso. Elifantree has released two critically acclaimed albums, Love & Trees in 2010 and Time Out in 2012. 

What are the upcoming plans for the group?

Lately we have been working intensively with our third album Movers and Shakers which is to be released in March 2015 by Eclipse Music. We're excited about having the drummer of the former Finnish indie/rock band Rubik mixing it! The album will be followed by touring and concerts in Europe during 2015. 

In addition to the album release we’ve also begun an interesting collaboration with the Norwegian piano trio Splashgirl which will be presented in Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Finland in February and March next year. Today we finished a music video-shoot for our upcoming single, which will be out in the beginning of 2015.  

You also play in Raoul Björkenheim Ecstasy. What’s happening with the group?

We went to record our second album straight after a beautiful tour in France in November. The album will be released in September 2015 by Cuneiform Records (USA). Ecstasy´s first album was chosen as the best record of the year by Harri Uusitorppa on Helsingin Sanomat yearly critics' poll.

Tatu Rönkkö Plays Your Kitchen

During We Jazz event Tatu Rönkkö can also be found in Helsinki house kitchens on various nights, where he’s performing his solo percussion pieces. Each show is a unique and improvised experience, and due to the interesting nature of the performance, we had to ask Rönkkö how the project came about.

What is the concept about?

"The kitchen is an everyday space full of rich and unexpected sonic treasures. The uncomfort zone is a state of mind, a moment or a sensation when the magic in art happens. And a performance is all about an artist sharing these moments with an audience. I Play Your Kitchen is where I'm trying to bring these things together and explore them."

How has the feedback been for the kitchen concept?

"The feedback has been really good. People have felt they experienced something they didn't expect and heard music that they didn't know could come from a kitchen.

You played shows with Danish band Efterklang. How did the collaboration come up?

I started working with the Danish band Efterklang in 2012 after doing an audition that they arranged for finding a new drummer for their 2012-2014 live tour. The collaboration with the guys has continued and now we have a new band together called Liima.

See dates and times for TATU RÖNKKÖ PLAYS YOUR KITCHEN here.