Led by Jan Anderzén, Kemialliset Ystävät (it translates as ‘chemical friends’) are a loose collective from Tampere in southern Finland. Existing in dialogue amongst (and beyond) the hugely creative / diverse microcosm of the Finnish scene including artists like Avarus, Lau Nau, Es, Paavoharju, Islaja, Anaksimandros, and labels like Fonal, 247 Laatijaa, and Lal Lal Lal, Kemialliset Ystävät has become an influential node on the outsider noise / folk / psych underground, finding international acclaim. Whilst many Kemialliset Ystävät recordings are solo productions, Anderzén has also employed many friends within this scene as floating / occassional members through the years.
With a vast catalogue of releases (in all manner of formats) since its inception in 1995, Kemialliset Ystävät has remained a constantly moving enigma. Almost entirely self-taught and using a bewildering array of instruments and approaches, their sonic arsenal includes detuned guitars, bass, traditional / vernacular instrumentation (mandolins, balalaikas, etc.) hand percussion, all manner of electronic instruments, effects, toys and circuit-bent items, treated samples and vinyl manipulation. Playfully taking their own unique and unpredictable path, they have layered and fused together traditional Finnish (at times almost medieval-sounding) instrumentation and melodies with avant-garde electronics, psychedelic folk / rock, noise, electro-acoustic, and percussive tribal rhythms, creating a sense of ritualistic magic and flexible, group-mind improvisation, with the whole often subjected to brutal and precise editing.