Nuspirit Helsinki

The loose collective of musicians, DJs, and producers comprising Nuspirit Helsinki creates a broad style of electronic jazz that transcends traditional stylistic boundaries. Founding members Tuomas Kallio and Hannu Nieminen (aka DJ Ender) enlisted the help of keyboardist Kim Rantala (aka Kasio), Toni Rantanen (aka DJ Lil Tony), and Eppu Helle to complete the core of Nuspirit Helsinki in 1998. Since then, they have invited numerous vocalists and musicians -- most often percussionist Abdissa "Mamba" Assefa and vocalist Ona Kamu -- to contribute to the group's recordings, which were released by such premier electronic jazz labels as Jazzanova-Compost and Guidance. The group's music is as much jazz as it is dance, crafted from primarily live instruments yet informed heavily by modern production technology (given that all five of the collective's founding members -- Kallio, Nieminen, Rantala, Rantanen, and Helle -- are producers). Following several 12" recordings for the labels Jazzanova-Compost and Guidance, along with a compilation offering for Ubiquity ("Diana Park Nights," New Latinaires, Vol. 2), Nuspirit Helsinki recorded its self-titled debut album for Guidance in 2002, which introduced the group to American listeners not yet familiar with the Finnish supergroup. 2008 saw the group handpicking a mix of contemporary Scandinavian and northern European bands for Our Favorite Things, an eclectic mix CD that did not feature any material by Nuspirit Helsinki itself. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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