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Siinai – Olympic Games


This is music made from orchestral peak experiences and emotional aggregates; it’s big, a little brassy and, while perhaps not as overwhelming or pompous or Wagnerian as it might have been, it nevertheless has intent, like Laibach without moustaches and Lenin vests.

Finnish quartet Siinai have created 21st Century marching music for non-psychick youths. You’ll have heard some of the guitar + synth textures before but rarely ones so in thrall to power chord structures and the slow build. They don’t once deviate into pop or angst or ethereal wailing; they keep their heads down, like early Mogwai, like post-rock in that brief, chugging, period before Tortoise jazzed it to death. Siinai’s is a simple but visionary music. It would work well as the soundtrack to a mass delusion and thus it works perfectly as an anthem for the Olympic Games, that grand old Dame of United Nations gathered in symbolic love and war.

If you need more bands to get your teeth into, then the instrumental, propulsive sections of Sigur Rós, Arcade Fire, even Coldplay (who, anyway, are Sigur Rós for those with Wernicke’s Aphasia) might be referenced here and you can imagine this playing out at a festival, as the light is dying, as people are making their transitions from day selves to night demons. Siinai reference some of the Krautrock greats (Can, Neu!, La Düsseldorf – they don’t sound like any of these, share maybe a motorik beat affect at best) but aren’t afraid to also reference Vangelis, which is perhaps a better place to start. It has the grandeur of the man, if not the sheen (this is grittier, earthier, less sun-caked).

I’ve played this quite a bit since I got hold of it; there’s something about the focus and the tone that speaks to me. It might be too simple for some, too relentless and unchanging, not clever enough, but on a long bike ride through Britain’s collapsing new buildings, this will serve you pretty well.


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