LOS-HEL is my collaboration with Nigerian-born multi-media artist Emeka Ogboh. It’s a conversation between Lagos and Helsinki through sound, image and text, and it was born in 2011 after my encounter with Ogboh’s This Is Lagos installation pieces at Kiasma’s ARS 11 exhibition in Helsinki. The first culmination of this process is a 16-track album LOS-HEL: Possible Cities (completed in 2013, released 2016) which combines Ogboh’s Lagos Soundscapes with my electronic compositions.
With LOS-HEL: Possible Cities the idea has been to use the soundscapes of Lagos as part of the musical composition and approach them as music – multilayered, chaotic and noisy as they might be – and elevate this noise and chaos into a new kind of ‘urban’ music and listening by framing and treating them electronically. The music ranges from the glitchy street gospel minimalism of Granular Market Hymn to working men’s ambient joy of Up Blues; from the funky industrial bus conductor rap of Verbal Mapping to Steve Reich-infused pulse of Lagos State of Mind; from the abstract car-horn bliss of Go-slow to struggling electro propulsion of Informal Economy; and several other possibilities in between.
The album has evolved out of contemplation on urbanization and possible realities of city life. The aesthetic sonic effect ‘sharawadji’, meaning the sublime of everyday and often used to characterize the feeling of plenitude caused by the contemplation of complex soundscapes, especially those produced by city sounds, might best condense the initial idea and inspiration behind this project.
In addition to most download and streaming platforms, the album is also available at my Bandcamp Store where the release includes additional artwork and a digital booklet documenting the conversation between Emeka and me on Lagos over the years.
Lagos Soundscapes, field recordings, concept – Emeka Ogboh
Music, soundscape treatments, concept – Ilpo Jauhiainen
Original drum programming and low atmospheric pad on Oshodi By Obalende – Nasfu
Mixed by Ilpo Jauhiainen
Mastered by Niklas Silen
Produced by Emeka Ogboh and Ilpo Jauhiainen
Cover art and design by Emeka Ogboh